Democrats should stop trying to delay Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation vote in Senate
Democrats should stop trying to delay Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation vote in Senate

By Carrie Severino | Fox News

Democrats are wrong to say the coronavirus should prevent her confirmation.

If one thing is clear about Judge Amy Coney Barrett, whose Senate confirmation hearing for a seat on the Supreme Court begins Monday, it is that she is exceptionally qualified to serve on our nation’s highest court.

This is the overwhelming consensus of those who know Barrett, including former colleagues of all ideological stripes who attest to her brilliance and sterling character.  

Because Democratic senators have no legitimate argument against the confirmation of Barrett —who is currently a judge on the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals — they have decided instead to attack the confirmation process and do whatever they can to delay a Senate confirmation vote.


 During the confirmation process for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Democrats showed the world how adept they are at converting the Senate’s role to advise and consent on high court nominations to “search and destroy,” to quote Kavanaugh himself.  To expect anything less this time around is naive.  

Recall that on the first day of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing, Democratic senators interrupted 63 times before lunch. And that’s to say nothing of the antics we saw from the left-wing interest groups that did everything they could to disrupt the process, from placing a constant parade of screaming protesters in the hearing room to unleashing armies of handmaidens around the Capitol. 

The Democrats’ delaying tactic de jour is to complain that Barrett’s confirmation hearing can’t happen because of the coronavirus. A letter signed by all 10 Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats insists that to allow virtual attendance at a hearing remotely “is not an adequate substitute.”  

 This position is completely contradicted by the committee’s practices throughout the pandemic. Since May, at least 21 hearings have been held in a format that included remote participation by senators, witnesses, or both. Senators on the committee opted to attend virtually 17 times. Six of the committee’s 10 Democrats chose to participate in hearings this way.  

 The first hearing held in this format elicited the following praise from Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., to Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.: “Thank you for being willing to do a hybrid hearing like we’re seeing today. Senator [Roy] Blunt and I in the Rules Committee worked hard to get this done, and I’m glad that we are seeing senators there as well as remotely so thank you.”

Usually, politicians wait for at least one election cycle to elapse before flip-flopping. 

Of course, the Judiciary Committee does not operate in isolation, but tracks a full Senate that has continued to do business during the pandemic, passing legislation and confirming 26 judges since May. 

Continuing to operate is no aberration from Senate tradition. In fact, Congress has been in session during far greater challenges.  

During the War of 1812, British troops set fire to the Capitol, the White House, and nearly all of Washington’s major public buildings while Congress was not in session. Nonetheless, Congress convened in a hotel less than four weeks afterward, proceeding with a session that included the passage of over 100 bills. 

Soon after the Civil War broke out, Congress convened in an emergency session on July 4, 1861, despite reports that Confederate forces stood only a day’s march away. In a session lasting under five weeks, Congress passed 67 bills. Congress would meet during some of the darkest days of the Civil War, passing bills and (in the Senate) confirming Supreme Court justices. 

And perhaps most analogous to the present, Congress was in session for almost the entirety of the period spanning the Spanish influenza pandemic’s first wave in spring 1918, its particularly deadly second wave in fall 1918, and much of the third wave in winter 1919. Congress passed hundreds of bills during that time.  

The hearings for Barrett will start 16 days after her nomination was announced, which is longer than it took for eight justices since 1962 to have their first hearing. Barrett will come before the committee after nearly three years sitting on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is more judicial experience than three sitting Supreme Court justices had when they were confirmed.  

 Barrett’s nomination does not require anywhere near the paperwork of most other recent nominations, since most senators recently had the opportunity to assess her for her 2017 nomination to the appeals court, when she was confirmed by a bipartisan majority.  

 Democrats might pretend the nominee is an unknown quantity and that her nomination process must therefore drag on, but that is a ruse. Just consider how many of them coalesced to oppose Barrett from Day One and have since refused to meet with her.  

None of the Republicans are arguing that the timetable should match past instances of Supreme Court confirmations that took place within one week — or even one day — of nomination, as many historically did. But Democrats have certainly shown rocket speed in drawing their own conclusions about this nominee, and they haven’t been shy about sharing their antipathy toward her nomination.  

 So if the Democrats are going to vote against Barrett’s confirmation they should go ahead and just do so, and stop playing games with their excuses about the process. Just do your job.

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