Will the Senate Have a Quorum to Confirm Judge Barrett?
Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution provides:
Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.
This means that the Senate needs 51 Senators to conduct business on the floor. This might present a problem for Senate Republican plans to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
There are 53 Republican Senators. As of this morning, three Republican Senators (Tillis, Lee, and Johnson) have tested positive. This means there are only 50 Republican Senators who can attend Senate proceedings. (The Vice President does not count for these purposes.) So if Senate Democrats boycott proceedings, they might be able to grind Senate business to a fault.
I said “might” for a reason. Here are a few additional points to keep in mind.
First, the quorum requirement applies to proceedings in the committee of the whole. It does not apply to individual committees (such as the Senate Judiciary Committee) which may conduct busines
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