Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has his caucus on board with an effort to disrupt and obstruct Senate Republicans. : FBI, Holcomb says he would not support mandatory COVID-19 vaccine, Behind the scenes look at how mail-in ballots are processed in Cook County, Chrissy Teigen writes emotional essay about losing Jack, How the Supreme Court justice nomination process works. But anger on both sides over recent Supreme Court nomination political history has the body in a tense standoff.
Some Democrats have already said they will refuse to meet with Barrett, the way many Republicans snubbed Obama’s 2016 pick, Merrick Garland. “Historically, Supreme Court nominees were not subject to the kind of partisan attacks they are now,” Carrie Severino, head of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, tells TIME. On Thursday, Democrats refused to give consent for the Senate to quickly pass a government funding bill, requiring McConnell to file cloture and set up a final vote possibly for as late as Wednesday, just hours before the Sept. 30 deadline. Interviews with more than a dozen Democratic senators revealed broad support for disrupting the Supreme Court confirmation process, even if the strategy yields some collateral damage. Any one senator can move to require a quorum call. The move also prevents senators up for reelection from campaigning while they tend to Senate business next week. Senate Democrats claim Supreme Court nominees have always required 60 votes for confirmation. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to confirm Gorsuch before the Senate leaves on its April recess, one way or another. That committee vote formally advances the nomination to the Senate floor. “Obviously it's retribution for the decision on the court, and they just want to be difficult.
Democrats Say Supreme Court Nominees Need 60 Votes. Democratic senators were quick to justify the retaliation effort, which is getting started with less than 40 days until the Nov. 3 election. What you need to know about Amy Coney Barrett. Any senator can raise what is dubbed a “point of order” to ask the presiding officer a procedural question. Even if Democrats succeeded in filibustering Gorsuch, using a precedent set by Democrats in 2013, Republican leaders could trigger the so-called “nuclear option,” changing Senate rules to end the practice for Supreme Court nominees. Sorry.”. Watch her full opening statement. After the Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, any senator can move to delay the final committee vote by a week. In April 2017, the Senate changed this rule and lowered the required votes to 51 to end debate on Supreme Court nominations (this is commonly known as "the nuclear option "). They can also force a series of votes on motions to adjourn or to recess, further occupying valuable floor time and delaying the Senate’s business. Mike Mansfield would be shaking his head today,” Tester said in an interview, referring to the longest-serving Senate majority leader. There are 52 Republicans in the Senate, so it would only take eight Democrats to join them to end a filibuster. While the move made no difference to Republicans’ timeline to confirm a new Supreme Court justice, it was one of several ways Democrats could disrupt the chamber’s activity. McConnell needs only a simple majority after Republicans eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees in 2017. Even Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who voted to confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and is considered the most conservative Senate Democrat, is on board with Schumer’s initial effort. Under the current timeline, even if the committee vote is pushed back by a week, the nomination could reach the Senate floor the week before the election. But even though it was routine, justices still had to clear the 60-vote threshold to get their up-or-down vote. “You have to be selective about it,” Kaine said. “So if you’re going to use the process to try to steal an election, then we’re going to use the process to try to do everything for that not to happen.”. At the same time, some Democrats are warning that there should be some limits to the dilatory efforts, in particular when it comes to interfering with Senate activity that remains bipartisan, such as the Intelligence Committee briefing that was scrapped last week. Her first votes on the court could include two big topics affecting the man who appointed her. Write to Tessa Berenson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Other Democrats said the disrupt-and-obstruct strategy could prove useful as the party seeks to further highlight the Senate’s inaction on pandemic relief, which has stalled for weeks after negotiations broke down. The committee conducts hearings, examining the background of the nominee, and questioning him or her about their views on a variety of cases and their general judicial philosophy. Here’s what Senate Democrats have in their toolkit: Schumer’s opening salvo last Tuesday was to invoke the rarely used “two-hour rule,” which can be used to halt all committee business after the Senate has been in session for more than two hours. There are a number of actions the Democrat-controlled House could take in order to force the Senate to take up unrelated business. Democrats could force the chamber to remain in session even when Republicans want to close up shop for the day or for a couple of weeks in October to allow vulnerable incumbents to head home and campaign for reelection in the final stretch before November. As Democratic Sen. Chris Coons lamented Monday on MSNBC, “There’s Republicans still very mad at us over the 2013 change to the filibuster rule, we’re mad at them for shutting down the government, they’re mad at us for Gorsuch, and we’re not headed in a good direction.”. “I don’t know that the Senate will ever be what it once was. By signing up you are agreeing to our, Senate Set to Confirm Barrett's Supreme Court Nomination, You Can Now Get a COVID-19 Vaccine in China, Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know now on politics, health and more, © 2020 TIME USA, LLC. The Senate can confirm a Supreme Court justice with a simple majority, and Republicans currently hold a slim majority with 53 votes. In modern times, the confirmation process has attracted considerable public attention. One of these is a War Powers Resolution, which, if passed by the House, can be put to the Senate floor even by Democrats, who are in the minority. If the senator disagrees with the presiding officer’s ruling, he or she can appeal it and trigger a roll call vote, requiring senators to spend time voting on the objection. If just a few Republicans are absent for any reason, Democrats could boycott the quorum call, effectively preventing the Senate from doing business. “We’re in the middle of a recession and a pandemic, and apparently he’s going to move heaven and earth to ram through a partisan nominee for the court, but there’s no time for us to resolve that?” Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a Judiciary Committee member, said in an interview. Republicans quickly derided the move as a “temper tantrum” on Schumer’s part. I don't know why. “The issue is that this is a power grab.”, “We can’t do business as usual in a situation that’s so extraordinary where the Republicans are breaking their word to rush a nominee so they can kill the Affordable Care Act,” added Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). It’s also about how many votes he needs, exactly. When Intelligence Committee Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) asked for consent that his panel hold its scheduled session with Evanina, Schumer objected. All Rights Reserved. After the Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, any senator can move to delay the final committee vote by a week. Senate Democrats can’t stop Mitch McConnell from confirming a new Supreme Court justice, but they are already planning to make it as painful as possible. “Right now I think they're just trying to throw a wrench into anything we do,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) At the close of confirmation hearings, the committee votes on whether the nomination should go to the full Senate wit…
Copyright © 2020 by The Associated Press. After a president nominates someone to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Senate votes, which requires a simple majority. It doesn't make sense to me either to bring everybody back next week when we could finish this today.”. Moderate Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana said he doesn’t plan to “second-guess” Schumer, in part because he views the alternative as the destruction of the Senate. Sacha Baron Cohen: We Must Save Democracy From Conspiracies, Europe's Second Wave of COVID-19 Is Being Driven by Two Countries, Top Facebook India Executive Leaves the Company Following Controversy, You can unsubscribe at any time.
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