Senate GOP to push Barrett forward over Dem boycott of vote

Washington Senator Patty Murray entering a briefing on coronavirus

Days before a historic vote in the U.S. Senate, a narrow majority of Americans say they support the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as the next associate justice of the U.S. supreme court, according to polling released this week by Gallup.

Then, McConnell refused to consider Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, the choice of President Barack Obama to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016. It's a political ideology of equality and justice for those who are oppressed by the very same white supremacist patriarchy that Judge Barrett - and by supporting Barrett, Senator Feinstein - seek to uphold. Senators plan to convene a rare weekend session ahead of a final confirmation vote expected Monday.

"Democrats need to take steps to protect our democracy", said Leahy, during a call with Democratic Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the committee chairman, in a statement.

With regard to Barrett, Democrats have criticized the 48-year-old appellate court judge for her opposition to Obamacare as well as conservative views on abortion rights. That could open a new era of rulings on the Affordable Care Act, abortion access and even the results of the presidential election.

As the Senate committee met, protesters, some shouting "Stop the confirmation!" demonstrated outside the Capitol across the street from the Supreme Court. Unable to stop the confirmation, Democrats have been trying unsuccessfully to stall the process so the victor of the presidency could name the new nominee.

"Fearing a loss at the ballot box, Republicans are showing that they do not care about the rules or what the American people want, but are concerned only with raw political power", said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat.

Republicans are expected to easily confirm Barrett next week.

As reported in this space yesterday, opponents of the nomination have another important reason to oppose the nomination: the revelation that Barrett served for years on the board of private school chain that overtly discriminated against children whose parents were LGBTQ or who were gay themselves.

Today, the seats of Democrats in Judiciary remained empty in boycott.

The Judiciary panel sent the nomination to the floor Thursday morning with all 12 Republicans on the committee supporting Barrett and voting in person.

Republican senators ridiculed the Democratic boycott as election year antics. "I don't think they think they will succeed - it's theater at this point", Mr. Hawley said. John Cornyn, R-Texas, pointing out the posters at the Democrats' desks. Sen.

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, called Barrett a "clear and present danger" to the values Ginsburg fought for on the court.

The scuttled Garland nomination has put several GOP senators - most notably Lindsey Graham of SC - in the unenviable position of having to eat their words when it comes to advancing Barrett's nomination. She was asked about her approach to legal questions surrounding abortion access, gay marriage and the nation's tradition of a peaceful transfer of presidential power. In the seats where Democratic members of the committee would have ordinarily been seated were propped photographs of people who would be harmed if the Affordable Care Act, which has provided health care coverage to millions of Americans, were to be struck down.

Barrett's confirmation would also put three Trump-appointed justices on the court before the election, which some believe may ultimately be decided in the courts.

Barrett released dozens of answers this week to additional questions senators had posed, but her responses were similar as she declined to weigh in on whether the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion ruling is a "super precedent" of the court or whether the president could unilaterally change the date set in law for the election.

Two Republican senators on the panel, Lee and Thom Tillis, tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the Rose Garden event where Trump announced Barrett as his nominee. Oral arguments in the latest suit against the ACA begin November 10, meaning that Barrett will likely be on the bench to hear them, based on the current clip at which Republicans are jamming the confirmation through. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, have objected to the quick vote, but they are not on the panel.