Law & the Courts

Senate Judiciary Republicans Advance Amy Coney Barrett Nomination as Dems Boycott

Judge Amy Coney Barrett listens during her confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., October 14, 2020. (Susan Walsh/Reuters)

The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously advanced Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination at its executive business meeting on Thursday in a 12-0 vote with no Democrats present.

The ten Democratic senators on the panel announced they would boycott the Thursday markup in protest of the proceedings moving forward just before Election Day. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and the Democrats on the committee said in a statement that the confirmation hearings had been a “sham process” and claimed Republicans had broken “the promises and rules” that were created when they refused to consider former President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in 2016.

“Fearing a loss at the ballot box, Republicans are showing that they do not care about the rules or what the American people want, but are concerned only with raw political power,” the statement said.

“We will not grant this process any further legitimacy by participating in a committee markup of this nomination just twelve days before the culmination of an election that is already underway,” it added.

The statement stands in sharp contrast to remarks made by Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the panel, who thanked committee chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) for presiding over “one of the best set of” hearings she had been a part of.

Graham said at the top of the meeting that the protest was Democrats’ choice and he would not allow it to get in the way of the confirmation proceedings.

“It will be my choice to vote the nominee out of committee,” he said. “We are not going to allow them to take over the committee. They made a choice not to participate.”

A final confirmation vote is expected on Monday.

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