Senate Judiciary Chairman Dismisses Democrat Quorum Threats

October 15, 2020 Updated: October 15, 2020

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Wednesday dismissed threats by some Democrats on plans to stall the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently said Democrats would not “supply quorum” to the Republicans.

The boycott would mean Republicans need all nine Judiciary members present to process Barrett’s nomination in the committee, and at least 51 senators present to approve her nomination in the full Senate.

“We have to have 51 of our people, and we can do anything we like on the floor. I need all of the Republicans together in the committee, and I can do anything I like,” Graham said on the “Hugh Hewitt Show.”

“What I’d prefer to do is follow the rules, and we have. Traditionally, you have 4 days of hearings, introduction the first day, questioning day 2 and 3, outside panels day 4, begin the markup. But we have the ability, if Democrats want to try to boycott the hearing or deny us a quorum, to process the nomination.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is “a master” at dealing with things like quorum threats, Graham added.

Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, enabling them to approve Barrett without any Democrat support.

Epoch Times Photo
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett leaves for a break from her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Oct. 12, 2020. (Greg Nash/Pool via Reuters)

Only one GOP senator, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has committed to voting against Barrett’s nomination.

Because of the Senate control, more GOP members are on each committee than Democrats. Even if all 10 Democrats on the Judiciary Committee boycott a vote, the vote will go through if all Republicans are present.

The committee plans on voting for Barrett next week.

A full Senate vote is expected prior to the Nov. 3 election, McConnell has said.

Democrats want Republicans to hold off on considering Barrett until after the election winner is announced.

Dueling with challenger Amy McGrath in a debate this week, McConnell reiterated his view.

“Under the Constitution, the president can nominate for a vacancy on the Supreme Court anytime he so chooses,” he said.

“This president has, for a vacancy during an election year, just like a lot of other presidents have over the years, 19 times. Seventeen of the times, they’ve been confirmed when you have the part of the president also in control of the Senate.”

Barrett was questioned for 2 days this week. On Thursday, groups in support and in opposition to her nomination will testify to senators.

Graham told reporters in Washington that Barrett was “the most forthcoming” out of the seven justices he’s been involved in vetting.

“She talked about originalism and always said when a case and controversy is still under litigation, I can’t get there. But I thought she really did explain what makes her tick as a judge and I don’t see how you could get much more out of her appropriately,” he said. “The question is, after this is over, do you have any doubt that she’s confident, that she’s originalist, and she’s independent? I think a reasonable person would say there’s not much doubt there.”

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