The Senate is planning to hold a confirmation vote for Judge Barrett on Monday, despite Democrats’ claims of conservative hypocrisy.
On Thursday, Republicans in the Senate Judiciary Committee moved to advance the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court.
National Public Radio reports that the Committee’s move will set Monday, October 26, as the date on which the Senate shall vote to confirm or deny Judge Barrett’s nomination. If approved, Barrett’s placement among the justices would radically alter the bench’s composition, giving conservatives a critical 6-3 majority.
Democrats have been consistently skeptical of Barrett’s nomination, as well as her stances on subjects such as health care, abortion rights, and voting access.
Liberals have also been keen to point out the hypocrisy now espoused by the Senate’s Republican majority: in the last year of President Barack Obama’s tenure, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to consider Obama’s Supreme Court nomination, saying the decision should wait until after the upcoming election.
But with another election day looming in November, McConnell and his colleagues have abandoned their supposed commitment to letting the American people have a voice in Supreme Court nominations through their pick of president.
According to NPR, Republicans have tried to explain their flip-flop as a matter of circumstance—that, in 2016, the White House and Senate were controlled by different parties, whereas both are conservative in 2020.
Republicans say their control on two branches of government means that voters have given them a “clear mandate” to make election-year decisions—even as recent polls show conservatives are facing a stark uphill fight in November.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) implied that Republicans never tried to make the process honest.
“This has been a sham process from the beginning,” Sen. Schumer said on Thursday. “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 only concerned with raw power.”
If approved, Barrett would be the third conservative judge appointed by President Donald Trump during his first term in office.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, decried Democrats’ skepticism of Barrett—as well as their failed boycott of the advancement of her nomination—as poor politics aimed against an otherwise well-qualified candidate for the Supreme Court.
“Judge Amy Coney Barrett is one of the most highly qualified people to ever be nominated an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court,” Graham said in a statement. “She will faithfully apply the law to facts without personal agenda and fully understands the difference between an impartial judge and a political activist.”