The US Senate Judiciary Committee will vote Oct. 22 on Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination, setting up a likely party-line vote to send President Donald Trump’s nominee to the full Senate for confirmation.
Chairman Lindsey Graham overrode objections raised by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin who said the procedural vote to set the date could not go forward.
“With all due respect, we’ve had this problem in the past. We’re dealing with it the way we are today. If we create this problem for you in the future you’re going to do what I’m going to do, which is move forward with the business of the committee,” Graham said.
The committee is near-certain to refer Barrett’s nomination to the wider Senate next week when the panel’s majority Republicans are expected to vote unanimously in favor.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he has the votes to confirm Barrett’s nomination in the Senate where only two of the chamber’s 53 Republicans have said they oppose filling the Supreme Court vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the US’ Nov. 3 presidential election.
GOP senators — Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) — have so far opposed the plans but only Collins said she would vote against a nominee if it is brought up before Nov. 3.
Barrett’s confirmation would cement a decidedly conservative 6-3 majority on America’s top court.
She would be Trump’s third nominee to be confirmed following justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
That is largely due to McConnell’s thwarting of former President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, in 2016. Garland’s nomination was held in a holding pattern for nearly a year as McConnell insisted then it would be inappropriate for the nomination to go forward ahead of the presidential election that year.
McConnell has since gone back on his position following Ginsburg’s death in September, vowing Trump’s nominee would receive a vote by Nov. 3.
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