The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on advancing Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court on October 22, Sen. Lindsay Graham announced on Thursday, after three days of hearings with Barrett.
“I will now make a motion to vote on the motion to report from the Committee the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to be associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States on October the 22nd, 2020, at one o’clock,” said Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The announcement came despite protests from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who argued that the vote should be delayed further as there were not two members of the minority party present at the time. The Democrats, who are the minority party in the Senate, have the power to hold the vote over for one week’s time.
Senate Democrats, including vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, have argued that the process to confirm Barrett is “illegitimate” because of its proximity to the general election next month. Republicans, led by Graham, have insisted that proceeding with the confirmation is in line with the constitution and that Barrett is singularly well-qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.
“There is no way you will ever convince me that Amy Coney Barrett is not qualified using any reasonable standard of qualification,” said Graham.
The senators discussed the confirmation timetable during executive session Thursday morning, before the committee proceeded to hear witnesses on Barrett’s candidacy. Senators questioned the judge in day-long sessions Monday through Wednesday, which Barrett facing repeated questions about abortion, contraception, and judicial precedent from Democrats on the committee.
“If I applied to Justice Sotomayor and Kagan the standards here being imposed upon every Republican nominee since I have been here, I would not have voted for them,” Graham said Thursday morning.
“I want to be fair, but it is silly to play a game no one else is playing,” said Graham, suggesting that Democrats’s treatment of Barrett and previous nominees could prevent future cooperation on the appointment of justices by a Democratic president.
Graham stated that after watching Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, which was interrupted and nearly derailed by allegations of historic sexual assault, he would “not sit on the sidelines and watch one of our nominees be destroyed after showing respect for two Democratic nominees.”
“That is not right, and I’m not going to do that,” said Graham.
Following the Judiciary Committee vote, Barrett’s confirmation will move to the floor of the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he believes there are sufficient votes to carry Barrett’s confirmation.