Senate Democrats will boycott the Judiciary Committee meeting Thursday where the lawmakers are scheduled to vote on President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said the Democrats showed during Judge Barrett’s confirmation hearing last week that she could damage reproductive rights, voting rights, and access to healthcare if confirmed to the bench.
“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,” the New York Democrat said.
Even without any minority members at Thursday’s Judiciary Committee meeting Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, can muscle Judge Barrett forward.
The committee’s rules note that at least two Democrats, as the minority party, must be present during the vote for a quorum to be reached. But Republicans could change the rules with a majority vote.
Democrats, thus, have little recourse to stop the swift confirmation process, as Republicans say they have the votes to confirm the judge and have slated her confirmation vote for Monday — giving the full chamber a weekend to debate the nominee on the Senate floor.
The speed likely puts Judge Barrett on the high court a week before the Nov. 3 elections.
“Fearing a loss at the ballot box, Republicans are showing that they do not care about the rules or what the American people want, but are concerned only with raw political power,” Mr. Schumer said.
Mr. Graham praised Judge Barrett’s qualifications after learning Democrats play to boycott the meeting on Thursday.
“Judge Barrett deserves a vote and she will receive a vote. Judge Barrett deserves to be reported out of committee and she will be reported out of committee. Judge Barrett deserves to be on the Supreme Court and she will be confirmed,” Mr. Graham said.