A Monday confirmation for Judge Amy Coney Barrett appears to be set for go after the GOP-controlled Senate voted 51-48 to begin winding down debate on Barrett’s nomination. GOP Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) sided with the Democrats against moving forward.
The success of Sunday’s procedural vote serves to underscore what is expected to be a smooth confirmation on Monday, exactly one month after President Trump nominated Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Barrett’s confirmation is expected to take place by Monday evening, a little more than one week before the November 3 election.
This GOP victory has fired up Republicans, according to The Hill, which notes that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been working overtime to push through President Trump’s judicial nominees – having argued that it’s the best way to affect long-term change on the direction of the country.
“I think the voters are very much paying attention and because I think defending the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is incredibly important, possibly the most important issue in the election,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Sunday.
Democrats are obviously not happy.
“This SCOTUS nomination process was illegitimate from Day 1. Instead of allowing the American people to finish voting, we had the Senate GOP saying they would confirm the nominee before she was even named. It’s all a sham,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in a Sunday tweet.
This SCOTUS nomination process was illegitimate from Day 1. Instead of allowing the American people to finish voting, we had the Senate GOP saying they would confirm the nominee before she was even named. It’s all a sham.
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) October 25, 2020
Sunday’s vote also comes after Democrats tried, unsuccessfully, to delay Barrett’s nomination dozens of times – attempting to adjourn the Senate until Nov. 9, or to try and change the topic to long-stalled legislative priorities since they eliminated the filibuster and shot themselves in the foot.
Republicans expect Democrats to keep the Senate in session throughout Sunday night to give speeches about Barrett’s nomination before the final vote on Monday.
But Democrats have acknowledged that absent the help of four GOP senators they are powerless to prevent Republicans from placing Barrett on the court just days before the election and in time to take part in the Nov. 10 case that could determine the fate of the Affordable Care Act.
Collins, who is in a tough reelection bid, is the only Republican expected to vote against Barrett on Monday. –The Hill
“While I oppose the process that has led us to this point, I do not hold it against her as an individual who has navigated the gauntlet with grace, skill and humility,” said Sen. Murkowski on Saturday, after finally agreeing to confirm Barrett. “I will vote no on the procedural votes ahead of us but yes to confirm Judge Barrett when the question before us is her qualification to be an associate justice.”