Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee will boycott Thursday’s vote on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, calling it a “sham process from the beginning.”
“Republicans have moved at breakneck speed to jam through this nominee, ignoring her troubling record and unprecedented evasions, and breaking longstanding committee rules to set tomorrow’s vote,” said the committee Democrats in a statement. “Fearing a loss at the ballot box, Republicans are showing that they do not care about the rules or what the American people want, but are concerned only with raw political power.”
“We will not grant this process any further legitimacy by participating in a committee markup of this nomination just twelve days before the culmination of an election that is already underway,” they added.
The move will be a symbolic one to placate liberals, and is almost certain not to have an impact on Barrett’s confirmation. Even if the Democrats did show up, they’d be outvoted by the Republican majority who will send her nomination to the full floor. From there, Republicans seem to have the votes to put Barrett on the bench.
Cognizant of their weakness as the minority party in the chamber, Senate Democrats have been trying to exact as high a political price as possible for the Republicans’ rushed confirmation. During the committee hearings last week, Democrats hammered the threat to the Affordable Care Act Barrett’s nomination would pose, and pummeled the alarm on the damage she could help do to LGBTQ protections, abortion rights and civil rights gains.
Democrats have coalesced behind the health care message especially, one that unites lawmakers and candidates alike. Oral arguments in the latest suit against the ACA begin November 10, meaning that Barrett will likely be on the bench to hear them, based on the current clip at which Republicans are jamming the confirmation through.
According to a HuffPost report, Democrats plan to fill their empty seats with photos of constituents who stand to lose their coverage, and even their lives, if the ACA is dismantled by the high court. Similar photos dotted the committee room during questioning, often as visual aids to assist senators in telling the personal anecdotes of those dependent on the law.
Currently, Barrett’s full Senate floor vote is scheduled for next Thursday.