Senate Republicans Press Forward on Barrett SCOTUS Confirmation Despite Coronavirus Outbreak

0
30

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced on Mondy that the Senate will hold the committee’s hearings for Judge Barrett’s nomination to become an Associate Justice at the Supreme Court.

The hearing will start on Monday, October 12, at 9:00 a.m. and will continue through Thursday, October 15.

Monday will consist of opening statements from Graham, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), rank-and-file senators, and Judge Barrett.

On Tuesday, each senator will have 30 minutes to question Barrett regarding her qualifications for the Supreme Court. Senators will have a second round of questions on Wednesday for approximately 20 minutes. Any subsequent round of questions would take 10 minutes per senator. Thursday will consist of outside testimony in support or against Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court confirmation hearings will continue despite two Judiciary Republican members, Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), testing positive for the coronavirus.

Graham said that he expects Lee to attend the hearings in person; however, he will allow senators to ask questions and attend the hearing virtually.

The committee staff will also take extra precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Committee staff will continue to work with the Architect of the Capitol, Office of the Attending Physician (OAP), the Senate Sergeant at Arms, the Capitol Police, and the Rules Committee to ensure that the hearing complies with public health recommendations. This will include personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitary stations, and strict limits on people allowed into the hearing room, among other precautionary measures.

The announcement arises as Senate Democrats have tried to stop the confirmation hearings.

“The timeline for consideration of Judge Barrett’s nomination is incompatible with the Senate’s constitutional role,” Feinstein wrote last week.

She added, “We again urge you to delay consideration of this nomination until after the presidential inauguration.”

Despite the Democrats’ insistence, Graham and President Donald Trump remain “excited” about the prospect of confirming Barrett to the nation’s highest court.

Graham said, “Just spoke with President @realDonaldTrump and he sounds terrific — very engaged and ready to get back to work!”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.