Senate to Work Over Weekend on Barrett 10/20 06:22
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Wasting no time, the Senate is on track to confirm Judge
Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court by next Monday, charging toward a rare
weekend session as Republicans push past procedural steps to install President
Donald Trump's pick before Election Day.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will begin the process as
soon as the Senate Judiciary Committee wraps up its work Thursday. With a 53-47
Republican majority, and just two GOP senators opposed, Trump's nominee is on a
glide path to confirmation that will seal a conservative hold on the court for
years to come.
McConnell said Monday that Barrett demonstrated over several days of public
hearings the "sheer intellectual horsepower that the American people deserve to
have on the Supreme Court."
Without the votes to stop Barrett's ascent, Democrats have few options left.
They are searching for two more GOP senators to break ranks and halt
confirmation, but that seems unlikely. Never before as a court nominee been
voted on so close to a presidential election.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer decried what he called the "farcical"
process to "jam" through Trump's choice, even as the coronavirus outbreak
sidelined GOP senators.
"The Republican majority is running the most hypocritical, most partisan and
least legitimate process in the history of Supreme Court confirmations," he
said during speech as the Senate opened.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to meet Thursday to vote on
recommending Barrett's nomination to the full Senate.
By Friday, procedural votes are expected, continuing over the weekend as
Republicans push through the steps for a final vote to confirm Barrett as soon
The 48-year-old appellate court judge from Indiana delivered few specific
answers during several days of public testimony as senators probed her
previously outspoken views against abortion, the Affordable Care Act and other
issues before the court. She declined to say whether she would recuse herself
from cases involving the election between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump has said he wants the judge seated in time to hear any potential
disputes from the Nov. 3 election. He also has said he's looking for a judge
who would rule against the Obama-era health care law, which is headed to the
court in a case justices are expected to hear Nov. 10.
If confirmed, Barrett would be Trump's third justice on the court. She would
fill the vacancy from the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the liberal icon, locking
in a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court.