Senate committee vote on Barrett set for next Thursday

Brushing aside protests from Democrats, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee set a vote on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett for October 22, keeping to a GOP timetable for a full Senate vote before the November elections.

“I’m not going to sit on the sidelines and watch one of our nominees be destroyed,” said panel chair Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) at a Thursday morning meeting, as he rejected assertions by Democrats that Barrett was on an unprecedented fast track through the Senate.

“Justice Ginsburg was 33 days, so there’s nothing out of the norm here in terms of the time we’ve given this matter,” Graham said, while Democrats denounced the swift timeline for Barrett’s nomination.

“I believe that this rushed, sham process is a disservice to our committee,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

“This is unprecedented,” complained Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL).

But the party line 12-10 tally to set an October 22 committee vote on a Barrett was another stark reminder for Democrats that they cannot stop this nomination from being approved before the November elections.

“Moving forward on this nomination is consistent with two centuries of precedent and tradition,” countered Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

A vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee next week would allow consideration of the nomination on the Senate floor in the week before the November elections.

With filibusters no longer allowed against a Supreme Court nomination, Republicans simply have to keep enough of their members in line to elevate Barrett to the High Court later this month.

Under committee rules, the Barrett nomination could be delayed for one week - that happened this morning - that’s why the panel vote will take place October 22.

Jamie Dupree, CMG Washington News Bureau

Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau