Senate Judiciary Committee Rules On Amy Coney Barrett – Democrats Respond

The Senate Judiciary Committee made a unanimous decision to pass nominee Amy Coney Barrett in their executive business meeting, despite (and also likely due to) Democrats boycotting the committee’s business meeting. The minority party decided to skip the vote thanks to their protest of Republicans’ decision to take on the nominee prior to the Nov 3. Presidential election.

The vote, however, was castigated by Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that the boycott “is not a decision the members of the committee have taken lightly, but the Republican majority has left us no choice. We are boycotting this illegitimate hearing.”

Republicans responded in kind, offering the opinion that it was their duty to take on the nomination as soon as possible and that Democrats made a choice that others shouldn’t pay for.

“That was their choice. It will be my choice to vote the nominee out of committee,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said at the beginning of the meeting according to Fox News. “We are not going to allow them to take over the committee. They made a choice not to participate.”

The committee chairman also took a swing at Democrats for politicizing the Supreme Court in an extensive and unprecedented way that began with the Obama administration.

“I remember telling Sen. Schumer, ‘You will regret this,’” Graham said Thursday of when Democrats got rid of the judicial filibuster. “Today he will regret it.”

Republicans’ decision to hold open the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat until after the 2016 election is the decision that Democrats have cited as the reason that they believe Republicans are being duplicitous in pushing through Barrett’s nomination.

Democrats claim to have made their move in response to what they’ve called the “breakneck speed” Republicans are using to attempt to “jam through this nominee” claiming that Republicans broke “long-standing committee rules to set tomorrow’s vote.”

Schumer said Monday, “The nomination of Amy Coney Barrett is the most illegitimate process I have ever witnessed in the Senate. And her potential confirmation will have dire, dire consequences for the Senate. For the Supreme Court. And our entire country for generations to come.”

However, Graham retorted on Wednesday that Barrett would receive a vote, none the less, despite the rule that cites that two members from the minority party be present for the committee. Graham said on “Fox & Friends” Thursday that he planned to waive the committee rule:

“Under the committee rules you need two members of the minority to conduct business,” Graham said. “But they’re intentionally denying us that participation. They’re boycotting the committee. So what I will do as chairman there will be a majority of the committee present. We will waive that rule. We will report Judge Barrett out. She will go to the floor. And hopefully, by Monday or Tuesday, she will be on the court.”

“Judge Barrett deserves a vote and she will receive a vote,” Graham said in a statement Wednesday. “Judge Barrett deserves to be reported out of committee and she will be reported out of committee. Judge Barrett deserves to be on the Supreme Court and she will be confirmed.”

Graham added: “As to my Democratic colleagues’ refusal to attend the markup, that is a choice they are making. I believe it does a disservice to Judge Barrett who deserves a vote, up or down.”

The vote that was scheduled for 1 p.m. happened shortly after the committee convened at 9 a.m.

Schumer said on Thursday called Barrett’s confirmation “the most rushed, most partisan and the least legitimate process in the long history of Supreme Court nominations. Democrats will not lend a single ounce of legitimacy to this sham vote in the Judiciary Committee.”