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Sen. McConnell says Barrett’s confirmation will begin Monday

Majority Leader: “Judge Barrett’s hearings will begin one week from today. Chairman Graham has all the tools to conduct a hybrid hearing, just like the 150 others the Senate has held this year”

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Mitch McConnell

With the whirlwind of news coming out of Washington this past week, the battle over the Supreme Court has been more or less placed on the backburner.

But, despite a number of Republicans contracting the coronavirus, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell assured Americans that confirmation hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amey Coney Barrett, will forge on.

“Judge Barrett’s hearings will begin one week from today. Chairman Graham has all the tools to conduct a hybrid hearing, just like the 150 others the Senate has held this year,” McConnell said on Twitter Monday evening. “We will not stop working for the American people because Democrats are afraid they may lose a vote.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is scheduled to begin the hearings on his panel on Monday – a timeline that would allow a full Senate vote before the election, which is just 28 days away.

The timeline was doubted over the weekend when two GOP members of the committee – Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina – and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) tested positive for the coronavirus, as reported by the New York Post.

McConnell needs 51 votes in the Senate – which the GOP controls 53-47 – to confirm Barrett, who would replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But, two senators – Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins of Maine – have opposed Barrett’s nomination in an election year.

Indeed, the nature of this nomination is particularly historic.

Barrett’s confirmation would give the court an overwhelming 6-3 conservative majority, the most conservative the court has been in 70 years.

So, Senate Democrats are scrambling to find any way to halt the confirmation process, using the uncertainty around the virus to their advantage.

With three Republicans falling victim to COVID-19, Democrats have requested the hearings to be postponed because it remains unclear how much the virus has spread throughout the chamber.

“As we continue to learn of additional colleagues testing positive for COVID_19, it is increasingly clear that rushing Amy Coney Barrett’s hearing forward in the midst of a COVID outbreak in the White House and Senate would turn an illegitimate process into a reckless and dangerous one,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said Sunday.

But, unfortunately for the Democrats, the confirmation process will continue full-speed ahead and there’s no stopping it.

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