In the ultimate act of impotence, Democrats who know they can’t do anything to stop Amy Coney Barrett from being confirmed to the Supreme Court are boycotting the Judiciary Committee’s vote to send Barrett’s nomination to the floor on Thursday. In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that showing up for their jobs would only give this wholly-constitutional process “legitimacy” that it doesn’t deserve.
“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,” said Schumer. “Republicans broke the promises they made and rules they created when they blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination for eight months under President Obama. Now, Republicans have moved at breakneck speed to jam through this nominee, ignoring her troubling record and unprecedented evasions, and breaking longstanding committee rules to set tomorrow’s vote.”
Schumer did not explain how it was somehow “legitimate” for Obama to nominate Garland in 2016 and yet illegitimate and shameful for Republicans to do the same thing with Barrett, but we’re used to this confused logic.
“That is a choice they are making,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said of the boycott. “I believe it does a disservice to Judge Barrett who deserves a vote, up or down.”
Instead of showing up to do their jobs, Democrats pulled this stunt, as reported by the Washington Post: “In place of the Democratic senators Thursday morning, aides had placed 10 large portraits of people who benefited from the Affordable Care Act in their seats. Each person was someone that the Democratic senators spoke about at Barrett’s confirmation hearings last week, which senators centered around the issue of health care and the future of the Affordable Care Act.”
The Democrats’ absence did nothing to stop Barrett’s nomination from being voted out of committee.
“Judiciary Committee approves Judge Barrett. Moves to full Senate for final vote. Big day for America!” tweeted President Trump on Thursday.
Presiding over the hearing, Graham said that Democrats’ concerns about Judge Barrett were unfounded.
“I’ve been here for a while, and I’ve never seen anyone more capable than Judge Barrett on the law,” he said. “And to all the people out there wondering about Judge Barrett I can tell you this: The law of Amy will not be applied to the case and controversy. It will be the law as written in the Constitution or by statute or whatever regulatory body she is going to review. She will take her job on without agenda.”
A big difference, quite frankly, from the woman she’ll be replacing.
The full Senate is scheduled to vote on Barrett’s confirmation on Monday.