Senate panel votes to confirm Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett

Thursday, October 22, 2020
By Paul Martin
22 Oct 2020

Oct. 22 (UPI) — About a month after President Donald Trump nominated her for the U.S. Supreme Court, the Senate judiciary committee on Thursday approved Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation and sent it to the full Senate for a final vote.

Her nomination now approved by the committee, it will advance for a full Senate vote, which Republican leader Mitch McConnell said will occur on Monday.

The panel’s 12 Republican members voted in favor of Barrett’s nomination and all 10 Democratic members boycotted the hearing and did not vote.

Trump nominated Barrett to the high court on Sept. 26 to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died a week earlier.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer tweeted Wednesday that Democrats in the chamber would boycott the “illegitimate markup” of Barrett’s nomination and not provide the required quorum. But Republicans had the ability to make a procedural change and approve the appointment.

Schumer also said he would force a vote to adjourn the Senate until after the Nov. 3 election, a move aimed at preventing the chamber from giving Barrett a final vote.

“We are not going to have business as usual here in the Senate while Republicans try to use an illegitimate process to jam through a Supreme Court nominee,” he wrote.

Democrats have accused Republicans of hypocrisy after McConnell blocked former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in 2016, arguing that no justice should be nominated in a presidential election year.

Republicans have argued that Barrett’s nomination is different because they control both the Senate and the presidency.

Before she died, Ginsburg also expressed a wish that her successor be chosen by whoever wins the presidency on Nov. 3.

Barrett, a 48-year-old judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, last week was grilled by Democrats about her stances on various issues, including the landmark abortion rights case Roe vs. Wade and the Affordable Care Act, as her confirmation would grant conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court.

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