Democrats Plan to Boycott Senate Vote on Amy Coney Barrett Nomination

Senate Democrats speak Oct. 12 after a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett before the Senate Judiciary Committee. They have announced they will boycott Thursday’s scheduled committee vote on Barrett.
Stefani Reynolds/Pool via AP

Senate Democrats say they plan to boycott Thursday’s scheduled vote on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

“Throughout the hearings last week, committee Democrats demonstrated the damage a Justice Barrett would do – to health care, reproductive freedoms, the ability to vote, and other core rights that Americans cherish,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee said in a statement announcing their boycott. “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.”

Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham rejected the Democratic assertion that at least two minority members were needed to proceed with the nomination.

“I will move forward,” he said Wednesday evening. “She deserves a vote.”

In a subsequent statement, Graham called the Democratic decision to boycott the vote “a choice they are making. I believe it does a disservice to Judge Barrett who deserves a vote, up or down.”

In his statement, he added: “The nomination process took a dark turn in 2013 when the Democrats changed the rules of the Senate for District and Circuit court nominees requiring a simple majority vote. My Democratic colleagues chose to engage in a partisan filibuster of Justice [Neil] Gorsuch for the first time in U.S. history requiring the changing of the rules regarding Supreme Court nominations.”

When asked about Graham’s remarks, Schumer replied: “We’re not giving the quorum they need to provide it. The rules require it.”

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SOURCE: NPR, Nina Totenberg