WASHINGTON — The Senate approved a significant procedural hurdle in a rare session Sunday, voting along party lines to set a final confirmation vote Monday for Supreme Court nominee Amy Connie Barrett, as Republicans ran to confirm President Trump’s election before Election Day.
President Trump elected a 48-year-old appeals-court judge to fill a position he had left after the death of liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Beder Ginsburg in September.
In a speech following Sunday’s procedural vote to end the debate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, Ky.) Addressed his Republican colleagues, many of whom re-elect on the same ticket as president Those who are lagging behind in most of the national. Election.
“It’s really something to be proud of and feel good about,” Mr. McConnell told his conference, as they listened quietly. “We have made an important contribution to the future of this country. Everything we have done in the last four years will be undone before or after the next election. They won’t be able to do much about it for a long time to come. ”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) addressed his floor speech to voters, who are already rising to record early and absentee votes for elections in record numbers.
“I want to be very clear with the American people about what’s going on here,” Mr. Schumer said. “The Republican Senate majority, America, is breaking trust with you – exactly the opposite of what it promised four years ago – to strengthen a majority on the Supreme Court that endangers your fundamental rights. Don’t forget this, America. Don’t forget what’s happening here. ”
He said Republicans were a “shock” to the Senate and the country. “And it will forever be a constant stain on this Republican majority.”
Although Mr. Schumer and other Democratic senators have not questioned Judge Barrett’s qualifications, he strongly opposed his confirmation, saying that filling the seat should have been left to the winner of the presidential election.
Democratic lawmakers on Thursday boycotted the Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Judge Barrett’s nomination, and over the last few days they have implemented a variety of parliamentary procedures to register their frustration, prompting Republicans to roll-call Was forced to live on the Senate floor. Votes, speeches and live quorum calls.
Ultimately, Democrats cannot stop their Republican colleagues, who remain largely united by moving forward with the process. It only takes 51 votes to advance or affirm Supreme Court justice, and Republicans now hold 53 seats in the Senate. Democrats hold 47.
The limit to advance any nominee was 60, but Democrats unilaterally changed the rules and in 2013 required only 51 votes for the candidates for the advance executive branch and most judicial candidates. Republicans followed suit in 2017, unilaterally reverting the rules to confirm the rules. The Supreme Court nominated by a simple majority.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of two Republicans to oppose moving forward with the Supreme Court nomination before the election, said Saturday that she wanted to continue the issue with the process but to confirm Judge Barrett Will vote
“I’m just sorry that we’re in this place,” Ms. Murkowski said on the Senate floor, citing a partisan increase in recent years over changes in Supreme Court justices and Senate rules.
When she announced her opposition in September, Ms. Murkowski said she did not support filling a vacant Supreme Court seat in 2016, when her party fielded then-President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland during the election year Stopped thinking. And she believed that the same standard should apply in this case. Mr. McConnell has assumed that the 2016 situation was different because Republicans now handle both the Senate and the White House.
“I don’t think it will help our country become a better version of itself,” Ms. Murkowski said in her speech on Saturday. “But, frankly, I’ve lost that procedural battle.”
Ms Murkowski said she expected the senators to debate the coronovirus-relief bill a week before the election, not to spend time on judicial confirmation. But she said she would not do it against Judge Barrett, praising her intelligence and competence, and said that while she would “not” vote on the procedural votes, she expected Monday to return to Judge Barrett on the final confirmation vote. Will do it.
Ms. Murkowski and Sen. Susan Collins were the only Republicans to break out of the party over Judge Barrett’s decision to go ahead with the election. Ms. Collins, who faces a tough election battle, will vote against confirmation on Monday.
“To be clear, my vote does not reflect any conclusion that I have reached the Supreme Court regarding Judge Barrett’s eligibility,” Ms. Collins said in a statement. “What I have focused on is fair and consistent, and I do not think it is fair nor consistent with the Senate confirmation vote before the election.”
Sen. John Tester (D., Mont.) Warned that the Republican’s push to confirm Judge Barrett just before Election Day has fundamentally changed the dynamic between Republican and Democratic senators. “I think it’s really, really going to set a precedent that’s not healthy for the Senate,” he said.
In addition to arguing that Judge Barrett’s confirmation process was fraudulent, Democrats also emphasized the Affordable Care Act, its potential role in deciding matters related to voting rights and abortion rights.
Judge Barrett dismissed many of the Democrats’ questions, stating that she could not indicate how she might govern in matters that might come before her, and testified that when she did part of the ACA When the court’s 2012 opinion was criticized, he did not do so. ‘This does not mean that she will kill it.
“I am not on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act,” he told the committee.
Write Lindsey Wise at [email protected]
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