UNITED STATES— On Thursday, October 22, all 12 Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Democrats boycotted the hearing, leaving no opposition, as they said they would do. Instead, they held a press conference and placed photos of individuals they said were beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act on their chairs in the committee meeting room.
Prior to becoming a federal judge, Barrett criticized Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision to uphold Obamacare. However, during her confirmation hearing she affirmed that she was not “on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act.” Senate Republicans then accused Democrats of fear mongering by insisting she was.
Without the Democrats, Republicans moved forward with the vote and approved Barrett in minutes.
“Judge Barrett is going to the floor. I hope you look back at this time on the committee and say I was there when it mattered. And you were,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, after the panel voted on Barrett’s nomination.
“The other side, having failed to lay a glove on Judge Barrett, have walked out on this process. And so doing, walk out on the American people,” said Senator Mike Lee of Utah.
Democrats on the committee and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke on the steps of the Capitol, calling the proceedings “the most illegitimate process [he has] ever witnessed in the Senate.”
“A Republican majority has left us no choice” but to boycott the hearing, said Schumer, who then accused Graham of having “steamrolled over” the committee’s own rules in approving Barrett.
The Senate will hold a final vote on Barrett’s nomination on Monday, October 26.