With Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings right around the corner, Democrats are reaching into their bag of sad excuses to find reasons to delay the confirmation hearing altogether.
According to The Hill, Democrats are warning Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham that this hearing is going to put the health of his colleagues in danger, and so the proper thing to do is delay the hearings until such a time when it’s safer to hold these hearings…like after the election:
All ten Democrats on the Senate Judiciary panel are calling on Graham to delay confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett after two Republicans on the committee, Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), tested positive for COVID-19.
Other Republican members of the committee were present at a White House Rose Garden event on Saturday, Sept. 26, when President Trump announced Barrett’s nomination.
“To proceed at this juncture with a hearing to consider Judge Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court threatens the health and safety of all those who are called upon to do the work of this body,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the top-ranking Democrat on Judiciary, and nine other Democrats, wrote in a letter to Graham Saturday.
The Hill continued:
The senators noted that “two members of this committee have already contracted COVID-19” and several other senators were “in close proximity” to them in recent days.
“As you aware, the CDC has advised that individuals ‘[s]tay home for 14 days after last contact with a person who has COVID-19,’ even if those individuals ‘test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy,’” the Democrats wrote.
The GOP has made it clear that they aren’t playing around with this confirmation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has delayed the Senate’s return until October 19, but announced that the confirmation hearing will go forward when scheduled.
“The Senate’s floor schedule will not interrupt the thorough, fair, and historically supported confirmation process previously laid out by Chairman Graham,” McConnell said.
None of this matters anyway, as the Senate has been operating through a hybrid of virtual, as well as in-person appearances to committee hearings, as McConnell noted, “for many months.”
“The committee has utilized this format successfully for many months while protecting the health and safety of all involved,” he said.
If Democrats are concerned with contracting COVID during the hearings, they can simply dial-in remotely, as the Senate has been doing with other matters for some time now. Democrats have made the excuse that remotely-attending hearings takes away from the gravity of the situation.
“As Republican members of this committee have recognized, questioning nominees by video is ineffective and ignores the gravity of our constitutional duty to provide advice and consent on lifetime appointments, particularly those to the nation’s highest court,” the Democrats wrote in Saturday’s letter to Graham.
It’s clear that if the shoe was on the other foot, this excuse wouldn’t fly with Democrats. McConnell and Graham are wise to move forward, especially with Republicans having the upper hand.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz has made it clear that by Tuesday, everything will be in place to have Barrett confirmed by the end of the hearing process. It’s clear that Republicans aren’t going to slow down or stop, nor should they.