The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Oct. 22 to advance Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate floor despite a boycott of the vote by Democrats on the panel.
The Republican-controlled committee voted 12–0 to recommend Barrett; no Democrats were present.
"That was their choice. It will be my choice to vote the nominee out of committee," the committee chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Oct. 22. "We are not going to allow them to take over the committee. They made a choice not to participate."
Republicans' push to confirm Barrett to the nation's highest court comes weeks before the Nov. 3 presidential election, drawing criticism from their Democratic colleagues who say that the winner of the election should select the nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Democrats have also taken issue over holding the proceedings during the pandemic as well as the Republicans’ tight schedule.
“This has been a sham process from the beginning,” Schumer and the other Democrats said in their Oct. 21 statement, accusing Republicans of “rushing to confirm a Supreme Court Justice,” to “take away health care from millions.”
"We will not grant this process any further legitimacy by participating in a committee markup of this nomination just 12 days before the culmination of an election that is already underway," Schumer said.
However, Graham told "Fox & Friends" on Oct. 22 before the vote that he would waive the committee rule in order to report Barrett's nomination.
The only Republican senators who have said they wouldn't vote in favor of Barrett are Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). No Senate Democrat is expected to vote in favor of confirming Barrett.
The committee's vote comes at the heel of four days of hearings during which senators questioned Barrett and examined her qualifications and record. Members of the committee grilled her on a range of issues that included abortion, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), voting rights, climate change, and LGBTQ rights, among other social issues. Barrett largely refused to express her personal views by invoking precedents and rules governing judicial conduct.
Senate Democrats spent a vast amount of time during the hearing presenting Barrett as a threat to health care for Americans. They were unified in attempting to build a case that Barrett wouldn’t hesitate to overturn the ACA, also known as Obamacare, in an upcoming Supreme Court case. Barrett could be confirmed in time to join the court to hear that case, which is scheduled for oral arguments on Nov. 10.
However, Barrett repeatedly expressed during the hearings that she has no animus or hostility toward the ACA.
The stories have prompted Republican lawmakers to denounce the "ongoing attacks" on her faith as "a disgrace."
"These euphemisms fool no one. United States senators are suggesting that Judge Barrett is too Christian or the wrong kind of Christian to be a good Judge,” McConnell said earlier this month.
“Every Supreme Court Justice in history has possessed personal views. Judges have a job to do and they swear to do it impartially. It is the definition of discrimination to assert that Justice Barrett’s particular faith makes her uniquely unqualified for this promotion," he added.