Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that the Senate Judiciary Committee will approve Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court by Oct. 22, setting up a timeline that could see President Trump’s pick confirmed before November.
“So, we’ll start on October 12, and more than half of the Supreme Court justices who have had hearings were done within 16 days or less,” Mr. Graham, the committee’s chairman, said on Fox News’ ‘Sunday Morning Futures.’ “We’ll have a day of introduction. We’ll have two days of questioning, Tuesday and Wednesday, and on the 15th we’ll begin to markup, we’ll hold it over for a week, and we’ll report her nomination out of the committee on October 22.”
“Then it will be up to [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell as to what to do with the nomination once it comes out of committee,” the South Carolina Republican added.
Democrats are accusing Republicans of peak hypocrisy for pushing through a nominee less than 40 days before the election after having blocked President Barack Obama’s pick in 2016 because it was an election year.
Republicans defended themselves by arguing their party has control of both the White House and Senate, which precedent supports.
Sen. John Kennedy, Louisiana Republican, said ultimately, it really just comes down to politics.
“On both sides, there’s been a lot of circumlocution and attempted Churchillian rhetoric about the precedent to be followed during an election year to fill a vacancy,” Mr. Kennedy said on Fox News. “When the Democrats are in charge of the process, they do what they think is right … when the Republicans are in charge of the process, they do what they think is right.”
In the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Democrats vowed to oppose a swift Republican nomination process, with some on the left threatening impeachment. However, they have shifted that response to focus more on driving their base to the polls in less than 40 days.
Sen. Dick Durbin, the Senate Democratic whip, said Sunday that while they may be able to drag out the process, it won’t be enough to extend it beyond the November election.
“We can slow it down, perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at the most, but we can’t stop the outcome. What we should do is to address this now respectfully,” the Illinois Democrat said on ABC’s “This Week.”