Graham Announces Confirmation Hearings for Supreme Court Nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett
Do you agree with the timeline for the confirmation hearings?
by Causes | 9.27.20
What’s the story?
- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Saturday announced the timeline of confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, just hours after President Donald Trump nominated her to the Supreme Court. In an interview on Fox News, Graham explained:
“I hope to get her out of the committee by the 26th of October. That will allow us to follow the normal rules of the committee and it’d be up to Mitch McConnell what to do after that. But we’ll start on the 12th. We’ll have four days of hearings. Then we’ll hold over the nomination for a week, consistent with the rules of the Judiciary Committee. And hopefully we’ll come to the floor around the 26th and that’ll be up to Mitch McConnell.”
- The hearings will be officially placed on the calendar later this week after the White House formally submits Barrett’s nomination on Tuesday when the Senate convenes. Based on recent precedent, we have an idea of what the four days of hearings will entail:
- Monday, October 12th: Opening statements from senators on the committee, several individuals will testify to introduce Barrett, and then Barrett herself will deliver an opening statement.
- Tuesday, October 13th: First round of direct questions posed to Barrett, with each senator getting 30 minutes of time.
- Wednesday, October 14th: Second round of questions for Barrett by senators.
- Thursday, October 15th: Outside witnesses, including Barrett’s colleagues and other legal experts, will testify regarding Judge Barrett’s nomination.
- After testimony from outside witnesses concludes on the 15th, the committee will begin the “markup” phase of considering the nomination. Assuming the committee still feels it’s on track to advance Barrett’s nomination, a vote would be held over per the Judiciary Committee rules, and the vote to report her nomination could occur the following week on October 22nd.
- If Barrett’s nomination were advanced to the floor by Monday, October 26th, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) could file a cloture motion on Tuesday, which would spend Wednesday “ripening” before a Thursday vote on limiting further debate on Barrett’s nomination to 30 hours. If a simple majority of the Senate votes in favor of cloture, the confirmation vote could occur on Friday, October 30th.
- Cloture motions for Supreme Court nominations only require a simple majority under Senate precedent, owing to the use of the nuclear option in the 2017 confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch which lowered the threshold from 60 votes.
- Senate Republicans can have three senators vote defect and still confirm Barrett with a tie breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. Only two GOP senators, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), have said they oppose a confirmation vote before Inauguration Day but are still willing to meet with the nominee.
- If Barrett’s confirmation proceeds based on the timeline above and concludes with her confirmation on October 30th ― 34 days after Trump announced the nomination and 31 days after it will be formally submitted ― it would be the second fastest confirmation process since 1975. Justice John Paul Stevens’s confirmation process took only 19 days from formal nomination to confirmation vote. If Barrett’s confirmation takes 31 days, it would be slightly faster than the process for the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, whose confirmation process lasted 33 days.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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