Politics Republicans on Senate panel to vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination as Democrats boycott hearing
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett strives to show independence from White House, Republicans
The confirmation hearing is wedged closely between Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death and an election in which Republicans could lose power.In a marathon session before the Senate Judiciary Committee just three weeks from Election Day, Barrett was put on the defensive by Democrats charging that she was picked because of her views on abortion, gun rights, same-sex marriage and particularly the health care law headed to the high court for the third time next month.
WASHINGTON – The Senate panel tasked with vetting Amy Coney Barrett isto the Supreme Court on Thursday, meaning the federal appeals court judge could take her place as the ninth member of the high court by early next week, when the full Senate votes to confirm her.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to meet at 9 a.m. EDT. Barrett is expected to be approved by Republicans who hold the majority on the panel, with Democrats saying they will boycott the day's proceedings. The full Senate is expected to take a final vote on Barrett's confirmation on Monday, eight days before Election Day.
Senators to grill Amy Coney Barrett on third day of Supreme Court confirmation hearings
Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation hearings will continue on Wednesday with senators asking more questions on healthcare, abortion and gunsMembers of the Senate Judiciary Committee will get another chance to question Barrett on her views on the law and a number of hot-button issues that could come before the court.
Democrats said they would boycott Thursday's hearing and vote, hoping to prevent the committee from establishing a quorum. Instead, Democrats plan to hold a press conference Thursday morning during the hearing. The boycott effort appeared to be a longshot attempt at stalling the federal judge's confirmation to the high court but Republicans vowed to move forward, with or without Democrats present.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said the panel would vote regardless. "Judge Barrett deserves a vote and she will receive a vote," he said, adding, "As to my Democratic colleagues’ refusal to attend the markup, that is a choice they are making. I believe it does a disservice to Judge Barrett who deserves a vote, up or down."
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The Senate Judiciary Committee's rules outline that at least nine members of the majority (Republicans) and at least two members of the minority (Democrats) need to be present to conduct business.
While Democrats boycotting the hearing would technically mean the committee's rules would bar Republicans from moving forward on Barrett's nomination, it's likely not to stop the process.
The path forward:
Sarah Binder, a political science professor at George Washington University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, noted that "committee rules can't enforce themselves."
"Were a Democrat to raise a point of order in committee against proceeding, GOP majority could easily vote down the objection," she said on Twitter, noting that any attempt to enforce this rule would be quashed by Republicans who hold the majority.
Amy Coney Barrett hearings conclude: Here's what happens next in Supreme Court confirmation
Here’s what to expect and when she could officially be sworn in as the ninth justice on the Supreme Court. More: Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court hearings conclude, paving way for confirmation days before election More: How we got here: The battle over Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court, recapped Committee vote Oct. 22 The Senate Judiciary Committee – the same 22-senator panel that spent the week questioning Barrett – will vote on Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. EDT on Barrett’s nomination.
A spokeswoman for the GOP-led panel pointed to a Senate rule that would allow the committee to move forward and cited seven times the panel had curbed the quorum rules since 2006.
Democrats had been teasing the possibility they might boycott Barrett's hearings for days. While liberals have harshly criticized the process and Barrett's appointment in the midst of Americans voting in a presidential election, Democrats have acknowledged they don't have the power to halt her confirmation.
Only two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, have voiced opposition to filling the vacancy on the court left by Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death before the election. Two other Republicans would have to join with Democrats in order to halt what appears to be Barrett's inevitable confirmation to the Supreme Court.
While Democrats cannot stop her nomination, they have employed a host of procedural maneuvers to attempt to slow it down.
The vote Thursday follows four days of hearings last week, where senators peppered Barrett with questions for hours about a host of issues that could come before the high court, including the Affordable Care Act, abortion, voting rights and climate change.
Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court hearings lacked the drama that Brett Kavanaugh's proceedings had. Here's why.
Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation hearings lacked the drama of Brett Kavanaugh's proceedings. Here's why.Democrats warned of the precedent set if Republicans rushed through a nominee in the middle of a pandemic and presidential election, arguing no nominee should be considered until after voters cast ballots. They rattled off threats to slow the process, teasing a host of tools that could bog down the hearings, with some lawmakers even publicly suggesting launching impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
During the hearings:
Senate Democrats will boycott Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation hearing vote as GOP vows to move forward
Senate Democrats say they will boycott a committee hearing Thursday where Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination is set to move forward.The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote tomorrow afternoon on Barrett's confirmation to the high court, a vote that was expected to pass along party lines and send her nomination to the full Senate for a Monday vote — just eight days before Election Day.
How Barrett could shift the court:
Barrett dodged answering many inquiries that dealt with contentious issues, frustrating Democrats who were eager to derail her confirmation, while vowing toon any issue that comes before her on the court.
Since Ginsburg died in September, both sides have fought over how to go about replacing her on the court. Republicans have sought to confirm a new justice by Election Day in an effort to add one more conservative justice to the court before a contentious election. Democrats, hoping Joe Biden defeats Trump and they regain control of the Senate, have said the outcome of the election should determine who gets to choose a new Supreme Court justice.
If Barrett is confirmed, there would be a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
New Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett could have immediate impact on American democracy .
It won't take long for Republicans to learn if Barrett is the reliable conservative upon whom they raced to bestow a seat on the Supreme Court.Upon taking her judicial oath from Chief Justice John Roberts Tuesday, Barrett became the person who could tip the balance on challenges to state election procedures that could determine who wins the White House and control of Congress a week later.