Democrats ‘Can’t Stop’ Barrett From Being Confirmed: Top Senate Democrat

September 27, 2020 Updated: September 27, 2020

The number two Democrat in the Senate on Sunday said his party cannot stop Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett from being confirmed.

“We can slow it down [by] perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at the most, but we can’t stop the outcome,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Durbin was responding to a question about proposals floated by Adam Jentleson, a former aide to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Jentleson said senators could use a variety of procedures to try to delay the vote on Barrett, both within the Senate Judiciary Committee and once she’s approved by the committee but before a full Senate vote.

“Together, these tactics will hang an asterisk around President Trump’s nominee,” Jentleson wrote in an op-ed.

“I know Adam. I like Adam and respect him, but he’s wrong,” Durbin said.

Senate experts on both sides of the aisle told The Epoch Times last week that Democrats have virtually no chance of stopping Republicans in the chamber from confirming President Donald Trump’s nominee.

Other Senate Democrats vowed to oppose Barrett’s nomination.

Only one Republican senator, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), has committed to voting against Barrett. Another, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), has said she opposes bringing a nominee to a vote so close to the presidential election but left open the possibility of voting for Barrett, who was nominated on Saturday by Trump.

Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, control they extended by two seats in the 2018 midterms. A simple majority is all that’s required to confirm judicial nominees, followed by Reid’s revocation of the 60-vote threshold for most nominees and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)’s later extending that to Supreme Court nominees.

Vice President Mike Pence can break ties.

Amy Coney Barrett
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett reacts as President Donald Trump nominates her to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington on Sept. 26, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Durbin said the situation would be different if more Republicans had suggested they’d vote against Barrett.

“There have been two Republicans who have spoken out already, Senators Murkowski and Collins, that said they won’t support this procedure before the election. If two others decide during the course of the debate to stand up and take the same position, then we could have a different timing, perhaps a different outcome,” he said on Sunday.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has said the GOP has enough votes to send Barrett from his committee and confirm her to the Supreme Court, said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that the committee hearings will start on Oct. 12.

The vote to advance Barrett from the committee will take place on Oct. 22, he said. The committee has eight Republicans and seven Democrats.

“Then it will be up to Sen. McConnell as to what to do with the nomination once it comes out of committee,” Graham added.

McConnell has said Trump’s nominee would receive a vote on the Senate floor this year, but hasn’t committed to holding the vote before Nov. 3.

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