Democrats hint at consequences as GOP prepares to confirm Amy Coney Barrett


WASHINGTON – Republicans are confident a vote confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is only days away, but Democrats are looking further and warning that this swift process on the eve of an election will not be quickly forgotten.

Even though senators shared happy and jovial moments with their colleagues during the confirmation hearings, some Democrats have warned that there could be consequences.

“The ‘because we can’ rule, which is the rule that is applied today, is one that sidesteps many traditions, commitments and values ​​that the Senate has long embodied,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, DR. I said.

“Don’t think that when you establish the rule of ‘because we can’, if the shoe has to be on the other foot, you will have any credibility to come and say, yes, I know you can do it but you shouldn’t because of X, Y, Z, ”he says. “Your credibility in making this argument in the future will die in this room and on this floor of the Senate if you continue to do it this way. “

Whitehouse’s warning comes ahead of an election in which polls say Democrats are favored to win the presidency and potentially fully control Congress.

The remarks foreshadow what could be a major fight among Democrats over whether – and how – to retaliate if they return to power in January. Party sources say it is unclear how they will react and it depends on what happens in the election – that if they win, the scale of the victory will determine whether they have the votes and the mandate needed to take drastic action.

Some progressive activists have pushed the party to expand the Supreme Court in retaliation, unhappy that Republicans refused to confirm President Barack Obama’s final candidate months before an election, but let Trump fill a vacancy because Americans have already started to vote. Biden said he ‘was not a fan of the indictment’ as he ran to restore standards and institutions and remained focused on defeating the coronavirus and protecting access to health care .

Senate Judicial Chairman Lindsey Graham, RS.C. argued that Democrats’ opposition to the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh then justified reversing his previous promise not to fill a vacant court position supreme in the last year of Trump’s tenure.

“I made it pretty clear that what I thought of what happened to Judge Kavanaugh changed every rule, every standard,” he said, while commending Democrats for behaving respectfully with Barrett. “Once we have a new election, then hopefully we have a fresh start. “

Democrats did not explicitly mention the expansion of the courts on Thursday, a topic they put on hold. But they said the institution’s future looks bleak.

“I don’t know how to get this train back on track,” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Told committee. “But this appointment, at the moment, is not usual, not normal, and it is below the dignity of this committee. “

Calls for the removal of Feinstein

The leading Democrat on the committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-California, concluded on a note of praise for Graham, who ranked the progressives.

“I just want to thank you. It was one of the best audiences I’ve been to, ”she told them. “Thank you very much for your leadership. The two kissed at the end of the hearing.

In response, Brian Fallon, the executive director of progressive advocacy group Demand Justice, called for removing Feinstein from the role of committee leader.

“She has undermined the position of Democrats at every step of this process, from tackling calls for filibuster and court reform to thanking Republicans for the most blatant partisan takeover in the world. ‘modern history of the Supreme Court,’ Fallon said in a statement. “If Senate Democrats want to agree on the courts in the future, they cannot be led by someone who deals … the Republican theft of a Supreme Court seat with children’s gloves on.” “

Supreme Court candidate Amy Coney Barrett at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on October 14, 2020.Demetrius Freeman / Getty Images

Democrats tried to use procedural motions to slow down the process. Graham shot them down and called a committee vote at 1 p.m. EST on October 22.

After that vote, which is expected to have the support of all Republicans on the panel, the nomination would move to the full Senate, which could hold a final vote as early as Monday, October 26, the week before election day. Aides has warned that nothing is defined yet.

“We have the votes,” McConnell told reporters in Kentucky.

Senator Cory Booker, DN.J., said Thursday that he acknowledged that “this goose is pretty much done.”

The most immediate consequence of Barrett’s confirmation, which would tip the scales of the Supreme Court sharply and cement a Conservative 6-3 majority, was to come at the polls.

Four Republicans on the Judiciary Committee – Graham, John Cornyn of Texas, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Joni Ernst of Iowa – face re-election bids. Tillis and Ernst are lagging behind their opponents, and polls indicate that most Americans want Republicans to wait to fill the job.

All four have praised Barrett and should support her.

The only Republican who said she would vote ‘no’ was Senator Susan Collins, who faces a tough re-election battle in Maine, and said now was not the right time to fill the post. high Court. Additionally, Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said she opposes the process at this time, but her office said she would not comment on how she would vote in a final referendum at the rise or fall before it meets. with Barrett.

Republicans need 50 of their 53 members to get confirmation.


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