Dems Boycott as Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Barrett

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The Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of moving the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the entire Senate. If approved by the full chamber, Judge Barrett would become a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, only a month after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Notably absent from the Committee meeting, however, were its Democratic members. All ten Democratic senators who sit on the judiciary panel boycotted the vote, insisting, as they have since President Trump originally proposed placing a judge on the high court, that the process was illegitimate.

Still, with the support of the Committee’s 12 Republicans, Barrett’s approval will be brought to a vote by the full Senate as soon as next Monday. That is, if things go according to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plans.

Democrats Stall

On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted his party’s plan to boycott the approval hearing, which he called an “illegitimate markup.” By not attending, Democrats attempted to deny the Committee of the required quorum, the minimum number of members necessary to hold such a vote.

Instead of personally attending, Democratic senators placed in their chairs blown-up photographs of Americans who will face challenges if the Supreme Court rescinded their access to healthcare. The party has made healthcare a central focus of their opposition to Barrett, as a case is heading to the Supreme Court in just a few weeks that threatens to gut the Affordable Care Act.

Still, Republican members of the Committee, led by Chairman Lindsey Graham, responded to the boycott by voting to change procedures. After eliminating the quorum requirement, Republicans were able to hold a vote to move Barrett’s confirmation onto the full Senate.

But Schumer is not relenting. The New York Democrat says that he will force a vote to adjourn the Senate until after Election Day, November 3rd. The move, he hopes, will prevent the full Senate from voting on Barrett’s confirmation.

“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,” Schumer wrote.

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