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Senate Judiciary Republicans seemed unphased by reports that their colleagues across the aisle may skip Thursday’s vote to move Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination forward for a full Senate vote.
“We’ll vote the nominee out,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican and Judiciary chairman, told reporters when asked about Democratic boycotts.
Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday a full Senate vote on Barrett’s confirmation is expected for Monday.
Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are “strongly considering” not showing up for the vote on Thursday in protest of Republicans moving forward with Barrett’s confirmation just before the November election, according to the New York Times.
A boycott would be mostly symbolic, designed to drive the point home to voters that Republicans are breaking precedent by working to cement a 6-3 conservative majority on the court less than two weeks before the election. Judiciary Committee members who do show up would be forced to either delay the vote or break the panel’s rules requiring members of the opposite party to be present to conduct business.
“The idea that the people who would be shredding norms here would be anyone other than Senate Democrats is laughable. Look, they have made a mockery of this process. Remember what they did to Brett Kavanaugh just a couple years ago?” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, asked Fox News’ Shannon Bream.
“So for them to talk about something being out of the norm of the Senate, it is hypocritical to put it really mildly. As far as their failure to show up this Thursday, if they do that, they’ll do so at their own peril,” Lee continued.
Democrats have worked all week to make confirming Barrett to the bench as politically painful as possible. Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., moved to adjourn the Senate on both Monday and Tuesday, and both days Republicans overruled.
On Wednesday, Schumer put up a point of order, or a complaint that Republicans were breaking precedent, noting that a SCOTUS nominee had not been confirmed after July in an election year. The order forced Republicans to go on record for the confirmation.
“I’m forcing a vote that the Senate has never confirmed a Supreme Court nominee this close to a presidential election day,” Schumer wrote on Twitter ahead of the vote. “We aren’t going to have business as usual while the GOP tries to use an illegitimate process to jam through a nominee to rip away health care from millions.”