Democrats to Boycott Panel Vote to Advance Barrett’s Nomination


Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee will boycott Thursday’s vote to advance Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate, according to a Democratic aide.

The move won’t prevent Republicans, who have a 12-10 majority on the panel, from moving ahead. But it highlights the intense partisan division in the Senate over Barrett’s nomination.

Barrett is President Donald Trump’s third high court nominee and Republicans aim to confirm her in the full Senate Monday. The confirmation is proceeding over Democratic objections to what they say is a rushed process and their concerns about her potential impact on rulings including those related to the Affordable Care Act, civil rights, abortion and lawsuits that might erupt from the 2020 elections.

The rancor over Barrett’s confirmation also extends to within the Democratic Party. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the senior Democrat on Judiciary, has come under intense criticism from progressive groups for praising Chairman Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, for his handling of last week’s confirmation hearings. Some Democratic-aligned organizations, including the abortion rights advocacy group NARAL, called for her to be replaced as top Democrat on the committee.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, on Tuesday wouldn’t say whether he had confidence in Feinstein when asked at a news conference. Instead, he said he “had a long and serious talk with Senator Feinstein.”

Barrett, a 48-year-old appellate court judge, mother of seven, and former clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, would replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg and is the late liberal justice’s ideological opposite. Her confirmation would cement a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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