While Democrats continue calling for a delay in the confirmation process of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Trump administration insiders are responding with renewed fervor for an expedited hearing and vote.
In one example, White House adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle penned an op-ed for Breitbart in which she declared that there is “no reason” not to confirm President Donald Trump’s third pick to serve on the nation’s highest court.
“Far from a lame-duck president”
The piece was published on Thursday, just hours before the president and others near him announced positive coronavirus test results. Guilfoyle had a previous bout with the pandemic-causing virus and has since recovered, The New York Times notes.
Speaking out in defense of Barrett’s credentials, Guilfoyle also addressed allegations of hypocrisy against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who opposed a hearing for then-President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
She argued that the situations are not comparable, noting that Obama was a lame-duck president in 2016 and the GOP had won a Senate majority two years earlier “in a referendum to keep a check on President Obama for his last two years in office.”
Given the results of the 2018 midterm, Guilfoyle concluded that Trump is acting on a mandate from the American people.
“In two elections, Republicans were elected on the issue of the Supreme Court,” she wrote for Breitbart. “If anything, President Trump and the Senate have a mandate to confirm Judge Barrett to the bench. Not to mention, President Trump is only in his first term. He’s far from a lame-duck president.”
Of course, Trump’s recent diagnosis is fueling even more efforts among Senate Democrats to stall the hearing planned to start later this month.
Among those officially calling for a delay are Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
According to Politico, the pair issued a statement arguing that it is “premature” for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to move forward with the process in light of recent events.
They wrote that hearings should not take place when “we do not know the full extent of potential exposure stemming from the president’s infection and before the White House puts in place a contact tracing plan to prevent further spread of the disease.”
McConnell was apparently unmoved, however. The majority leader rallied conservatives with a tweet posted after he spoke to the president indicating that the GOP is moving “[f]ull steam ahead with the fair, thorough, timely process that the nominee, the Court, [and] the country deserve,” as Fox News reported.