First, Democrats want to stop the nomination, and they are considering taking unusual steps to bottle up all business in the Senate to drag out the proceedings as long as possible, senators said. Under the rules, which require the chamber to operate by unanimous consent, Democrats can object to routine business of the day and essentially ground the chamber to a halt.

McConnell could eventually get around such stall tactics if he has the support of 51 senators, but they could drag out the proceedings.

And if the Democrats ultimately fail to stop the nominee, they are indicating that they may push legislation to expand the Supreme Court by adding additional seats to retaliate against what they view as Republicans’ heavy-handed tactics.

It’s an option that has picked up increased interest in the wake of Ginsburg’s death — and one that Democratic leaders are not ruling out.