Contributed by Deb Kline.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham has released his schedule for the confirmation process of Amy Coney Barrett. Beginning October 12, the committee will hear one day of introductions followed by two days of questioning. A review of the committee’s recommendation would begin October 15, with reporting out of committee on October 22. The nomination and recommendation then go to the floor of the Senate with Mitch McConnell deciding what to do from there.
This is arguably the fastest timeline in history for the nomination and potential confirmation of a Supreme Court justice and fully rankles every Democrat currently breathing. There’s the stark reminder of McConnell’s refusal to hold hearings for Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland, with the thin excuse that no justice should be confirmed in an election year, and the full-out flip-flop of Senate Republicans who vociferously supported that excuse in 2016 and now pretend to have amnesia about it.
The idea that someone like Barrett, who’s diametrically opposed to just about everything Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg stood for, could get a lightspeed confirmation is devastating to every equal rights beneficiary and advocate. It also indicates how low the Republicans will go to get their way – even if it puts weak incumbents at risk by enraging and invigorating Democrat turnout at the polls.
Barrett has publicly opposed the Affordable Care Act and Roe vs. Wade, the former of which will be reviewed by the Supreme Court in an upcoming session on November 10, and could result in the loss of coverage for millions of Americans. While she claims Roe vs. Wade is settled law, anti-choice advocates are cheering her nomination in expectation that the act would be overturned. She has done little in her judicial career to dissuade anyone from that thinking.
While there seems to be little Senate Democrats can do to stop the confirmation, some have already come out saying they’ll refuse to meet with her, and may skip the hearings altogether. NJ Senator Cory Booker has said he’ll meet with her for one particular question: to ask Barret if she would recuse herself from any potential high court case involving the 2020 presidential election.
In an editorial in the LATimes last week, Erwin Cherwinsky, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law acknowledged that little can be done to stop the confirmation, but advised that “Democrats must politely, but firmly, explain to the American people that President Trump has appointed someone who is going to take away their rights.”
That much, we know.