Doubts are growing as more Senators go into quarantine that the GOP will be able to confirm Amy Coney Barrett before Election Day.
Then there was the Supreme Court. The virus has forced six Republican senators — three of whom have tested positive for Covid — into quarantine for at least two weeks. Two of them, Thom Tillis and Mike Lee, are on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Graham chairs. His plans to push through the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett were now uncertain. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said over the weekend that “our biggest enemy” in confirming Barrett before the election, and cementing a conservative 6-3 high court majority, is “the coronavirus, keeping everybody healthy and well and in place to do our job.”
“Trump has done more to derail the Barrett nomination than any Democrat,” said one dejected former senior White House official. “They are screwing themselves, that’s for sure.”
The original timeline for Barrett’s confirmation left Republicans with virtually no room for anything to go wrong, but as soon as Trump got involved, the biggest thing imaginable went wrong. Republicans can still hold confirmation hearings.
The problem comes when it is time for the Judiciary Committee’s vote. Every member of the committee has to be physically present to vote. With the COVID outbreak raging through the Republican Party, it is looking more doubtful by the day that all of the Senators will be there.
Even if Lindsey Graham gets the nomination out of committee, there is no telling if they will have enough bodies on the floor of the Senate for the final confirmation vote.
McConnell is trying to rush this nomination through because he will not have the votes to confirm Barrett in the lame-duck session, but the plan is falling apart thanks to Trump and his Rose Garden COVID party.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association