Supreme Court justice

Democrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's nomination

Chuck Schumer: The push to confirm Amy Coney Barrett is a "sham process" and accused Republicans of breaking "the promises and rules"


Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee will boycott Thursday's committee vote on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination. The plan comes as the 10 Democratic senators on the panel have been discussing how to protest the GOP plan to confirm Barrett next week to the seat held by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the Democrats on the committee, in a joint statement, said the push to confirm Barrett was a "sham process" and accused Republicans of breaking "the promises and rules" established by refusing to give Merrick Garland, then-President Obama's final Supreme Court nominee, a hearing or a vote.

“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 concerned only with raw political power," they said.

"We will not grant this process any further legitimacy by participating in a committee markup of this nomination just twelve days before the culmination of an election that is already underway," they added.

Democrats, instead, are expected to hold two press conferences on Thursday.

Under Judiciary Committee rules, 12 members have to be present in order to report a nomination to the floor — a requirement that Republicans can meet on their own if every GOP senator is present.

But the two rules also require two members of the minority party to be present in order to transact business.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned reporters on Wednesday that he will hold a vote on the nomination — previously scheduled for 1 p.m. on Thursday — regardless of whether or not Democratic senators show up.

Democrats have been under fierce pressure from progressive activists to use Barrett's confirmation process to drive home both the stakes of the fight — that her confirmation will lock in a 6-3 conservative majority — and that they aren't treating the GOP process as business as usual.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the committee, came under scrutiny last week when she thanked Graham for how he ran the four-day hearing on Barrett's nomination and was spotted giving him a hug.

But progressives have also taken issue with the general demeanor from Democrats during the hearing, pointing to polls that show support for confirming Barrett to the Supreme Court as evidence that their strategy missed the mark.

"Support for Barrett has risen eighteen points among *Democrats,* a clear sign that the hearings were a failure and a net gain for Barrett, McConnell and Republicans. Democrats signaled business as usual and lent legitimacy to an illegitimate process," Adam Jentleson, a former staffer for Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), tweeted on Wednesday.

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