Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to send Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination to the Senate floor to be confirmed.
But they did it without any help from Democrats, all of whom boycotted the hearing in protest of what they say is an illegitimate process being used to jam through President Donald Trump’s nominee before the Nov. 3 election.
“This has been a sham process from the beginning,” Democrats on the committee said in a Wednesday night statement with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “Amidst a global pandemic and ongoing election, Republicans are rushing to confirm a Supreme Court Justice to take away health care from millions and execute the extreme and deeply unpopular agenda that they’ve been unable to get through Congress.”
While Republicans were voting on Barrett’s nomination, Democrats were gathering outside on the steps of the Senate for a press conference highlighting the threat Barrett poses to health care, reproductive rights, voting rights and other issues. They didn’t leave their seats empty back in the hearing room: They filled them with poster-sized photos of people who would be hurt by Barrett potentially casting a deciding vote against the Affordable Care Act.
Democrats have never had much of a chance of stopping Barrett’s nomination. They simply don’t have the votes. But progressives have been pressuring them to put up a big fight, and on Thursday they chalked up a small victory with the Democrats’ 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,” reads the Democrats’ statement.
Barrett is on track to get her confirmation vote on Monday.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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