Democrats Boycott Senate Judiciary Committee Vote On Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee boycotted a key vote in Amy Coney Barrett‘s confirmation process on Thursday as part of a political statement against the hearings, which many Democrats view as illegitimate. The Republicans on the committee voted 12-0 without their progressive counterparts.

Filling the seats of the missing Democrats were ten large portraits of constituents who had personally benefitted from the Affordable Care Act, which is scheduled to be before the Supreme Court on Nov. 10. Opponents of Barrett argue she poses a threat to the ACA, reproductive care and gay rights.

“No matter where you come down on this, this is personal,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) said. “And this Republican majority and this president have chosen to make, as their closing argument, that they’re going to push through a nominee whose record shows us just where she’s going to come out on so many things.”

Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) argued earlier that the move was more than a stunt, since they were “not giving a quorum they need to provide.” The Republicans, however, rejected the rules requiring nine members of the panel, including two members of the minority party, to be present for “transacting business,” stating that Senate rule 26 outweighs the committee-specific requirement.

Rule 26 states that “no measure or matter or recommendation shall be reported from any committee unless a majority of the committee were physically present.”

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said the GOP will push for a Monday confirmation vote, as part of a controversial effort by Republican lawmakers to confirm the conservative nearly a week before the election.

“She deserves to be reported out, and she will be reported out,” Graham told reporters. “She deserves better than this. The political system is broken. I get that. Plenty of blame to go around.”