The Senate Judiciary Committee announced on Monday that it would be hearing testimony on the issue of Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett beginning on Monday, Oct. 12.
“The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing on the nomination of the Honorable Amy Coney Barrett to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States to begin Monday, Oct. 12 at 9:00 am & continue through Thursday, Oct. 15,” the committee tweeted along with their official statement and calendar item.
Committee Chairman, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, has followed through with his promise to get this nominee through the committee and before the general assembly of the Senate before the November 3 election.
Graham’s dedication to hosting confirmation hearings for Barrett likely has a combination of several motivations. The first is, of course, there’s a chance that the seat could remain vacant until a new president is installed in January of 2021. If that’s the case, there would be a Democrat placing the deciding vote on what has often been a 4/4 split between the current justices.
The second reason is due to what many consider to be likely an undecided election, should mail-in ballots come into question. While the left insists that there is no chance of voter fraud with mail-in ballots (despite video evidence to the contrary) and the right is up-in-arms about the potential for miscounted ballots, the one thing both sides agree on is that they don’t trust the other not to cheat.
A deadlocked electoral vote situation could lead to the Supreme Court deciding who actually won the election. Widespread controversy circulated earlier in the year that the decision would be up to Chief Justice John Roberts to break a tie between conservative and liberal justices. However, the passing of longtime liberal leader, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, threw the political strategy machine in Washington into high gear.
“The timeline of Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing was thrown into question Friday after two Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee tested positive for COVID-19: Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina,” USA Today reported Friday. “Both attended a Rose Garden ceremony announcing President Donald Trump’s choice of Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the high court. Several people in attendance, including the president, have since tested positive for COVID-19.”
Republicans have been ecstatic to not only allow this Republican administration to install a third Supreme Court pick but also potentially save the nation months of turmoil with a decisive court majority.
“Since May, the Judiciary Committee has operated flawlessly through a hybrid method that has seen some Senators appear physically at its hearings while other members have participated virtually,” McConnell said in a written statement according to The Daily Wire. “The Committee has utilized this format successfully for many months while protecting the health and safety of all involved. Certainly, all Republican members of the committee will participate in these important hearings.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is, however, somewhat less enthusiastic about his opposing party’s movements saying Monday that he and other Democrats planned to use “every tool in the toolbox” to delay Barrett’s hearings.
“The idea of having virtual hearings where no one is with the witness for the highest court in the land for a life appointment that would have such an effect on people’s lives makes no sense. A virtual hearing is virtually no hearing at all,” Schumer said in a statement.
Sadly, Schumer and other Democrats have only solidified Republicans need to move quickly and decisively to ensure that the next Supreme Court justice is confirmed in a qualified and legal manner.