‘Shameless’: Senators Still Sparring Over Timing Of Supreme Court Nomination

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Senate Judiciary Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks on the first day of Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on Monday. Graham defended the Republican effort to move swiftly on Barrett’s confirmation.

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Now, Republicans say, with the White House and Senate controlled by the same party, there is no need to wait. «All I can say is I feel we are doing this constitutionally. Our Democratic friends object to the process, I respect them all,» Graham said, noting that he anticipated a fully party-line vote on her nomination. «This is probably not about persuading each other unless something really dramatic happens. All Republicans will vote yes, and all Democrats will vote no,» he said.

In his opening statement at Monday’s hearing, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., refers to a quote from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., about President Barack Obama’s attempt to confirm a new Supreme Court justice in 2016. At the time, McConnell argued that the seat should not be filled until after the election.

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Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., a member of the committee, used his opening remarks to attack that argument. «It’s a shameless, self-serving, venal reversal,» he said of the GOP’s positions on Garland and Barrett.

Durbin noted that former justices, including Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, enjoyed overwhelming support in their Senate confirmation processes. «Can this be the same Senate? It’s not. The reason those votes were so overwhelming is because people lived by the rules, they lived by the traditions of the Senate, and they had mutual respect for one another,» he said. «This process doesn’t adhere to those guidelines. The haste in this pursuit before us today is unfair to the Senate and unfair, really, to the nominee.»

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