Coronavirus in Congress Won’t Stop Barrett Confirmation Hearings, Which Start Today
Partisan anger, mudslinging, and shenanigans to spike this week. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is about to start confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s new nominee for the Supreme Court. The timing of the hearings—which begin today and are scheduled through Thursday—couldn’t be more absurd, as Americans are already voting in an election just weeks away, questions remain about the completeness of Barrett’s paperwork, and two members of the judiciary committee recently came down with COVID-19. Meanwhile, senior Republicans on the confirmation committee are refusing to take coronavirus tests before everyone meets.
In the rush to confirm before the November election, it looks like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is willing to put the health of his colleagues and others at risk. The two committee members who tested positive for COVID-19 recently—Utah Republican Mike Lee and North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis—will attend the confirmation hearings via video…mostly. But voting must take place in person.
NEW — Amy Coney Barrett’s opening statement. Notable line: “The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the People. The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.” pic.twitter.com/Uvuqlgn4km
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) October 11, 2020
Tuesday and Wednesday will feature questions from senators, with Thursday reserved for questions and testimony from non-Senate folks.
Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham can call for a committee vote after that, though Democrats can (and almost certainly will) call for this to be postponed a week. Even with some stalling from Democrats, however, the full Senate will likely vote on Barrett’s nomination by October 29.
As election-time strategy goes, this could be risky for Republicans, since some conservatives may feel compelled to vote for Trump only if a Supreme Court seat is at stake. “Her confirmation can and probably will be done before Election Day, at whic
Article from Latest – Reason.com