Republicans are confident that Amy Coney Barrett will be confirmed to the Supreme Court in time for Election Day.
Over the objections of Democrats, the GOP is pressing ahead to a hearing and vote on Barrett in October, Politico’s Burgess Everett reported Saturday, arguing that in the eyes of Senate Republicans, “it’s all over but the confirmation hearings.”
GOP rallies behind Barrett
President Donald Trump first announced Barrett, a 48-year-old federal judge, as his nominee on Saturday, ending days of speculation about who he would choose to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Barrett will begin meeting with senators this week, according to Reuters, before a four-day confirmation hearing starts on Oct. 12. Democrats have complained that it’s too close to the election to confirm a new justice, but, as Politico notes, Republicans are moving forward with plans to vote before Nov. 3.
“We’ve coalesced very quickly behind [Barrett’s] nomination,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) told Politico. “And if things go along smoothly, then I’m looking forward to a vote before the election.”
Even before Barrett was chosen, a confirmation appeared likely after Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) became the only two Republican senators to come out in opposition.
The process is now shaping up to be little more than a formality, it seems, with Republicans ready to quickly approve Barrett’s confirmation, and Democrats promising to do whatever they can to stop it — an effort even they admit is probably doomed. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said as much, lamenting that delays “can’t stop the outcome,” as Politico reported separately.
“There’s nothing they can do”
Democrats have been dreading the prospect of Trump adding a third justice to the Supreme Court, allowing him to solidify a rightward shift for generations to come. The confirmation of Barrett, who has likened her judicial philosophy to that of her former boss Antonin Scalia, would give the court a 6–3 conservative majority.
Appearing to anticipate defeat, Democrats have turned to framing Barrett as a threat to the Affordable Care Act, Politico reports, while warning Republicans that advancing her nomination will excite a backlash from voters.
Indeed, while Democrats may have few options to thwart the GOP’s plans, they’re sure to make the road to confirmation as unpleasant as possible. “I refuse to treat this process as legitimate and will not meet with Judge Barrett,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said, according to Politico.
But Republicans, for their part, don’t sound fazed by the threats.
“There’s going to be massive pressure on Sen. [Chuck] Schumer as well as [Judiciary Committee ranking member] Dianne Feinstein to do everything they can do to a throw a monkey wrench here,” Barrasso told Politico. But “there’s nothing they can do to stop it,” he said.