The Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee has approved Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, sending the matter to the full Senate for consideration.
Democrats on the committee boycotted the vote Thursday, resulting in a 12-0 vote in favor of the nomination.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer reiterated his party’s objection to President Donald Trump moving ahead with replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the court so close to an election, arguing that such a move should be left to whichever candidate wins the November 3 U.S. presidential election.
He cited the Supreme Court vacancy in 2016, when then-President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland but Senate Republicans blocked the process while making similar arguments about letting voters decide who should pick the next justice.
“When Merrick Garland was nominated, eight months before an election, we have to wait for an election. Now that an election is ongoing, we are rushing through this nomination. It is one of the worst moments the Senate has ever seen,” Schumer said.
He called Barrett’s confirmation proceedings “the most rushed, most partisan and least legitimate process in the history of Supreme Court nominations.”
Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said the Democrats boycotting the vote “does a disservice to Judge Barrett who deserves a vote, up or down.”
With Republicans holding a 53-47 majority in the Senate, Graham expressed optimism about the prospects for Barrett’s nomination.
“Judge Barrett deserves to be on the Supreme Court and she will be confirmed,” he said.
The 12 Republicans on the committee have indicated they will back Barrett.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to follow the Judiciary Committee’s vote with a procedural vote in the full Senate on Sunday that could bring a final vote on Barrett’s nomination on Monday.
If Barrett is confirmed to the lifetime appointment, the Supreme Court would have a 6-3 conservative majority.