None of the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee showed up Thursday for the planned committee vote on whether to send Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the full Senate.
The rules say in order to have a quorum, at least two members of the minority party must be present.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Thursday said “to my Democratic colleagues, you had four days of hearings, two days to question the judge. She deserves an up-or-down vote. She did an outstanding job representing herself… She deserves better than this but she will get out of the committee today. I have the votes to get her out of committee.”
Instead of showing up, Democrats on the panel put pictures of people who rely upon the Affordable Care Act in their chairs.
Graham waived the rule requiring minority participation and the committee voted unanimously 12-0 to move ACB’s nomination forward.
On Wednesday, Graham said that Barrett would receive a vote on Thursday, despite the boycott from Democrats.
“Under the committee rules you need two members of the minority to conduct business,” Graham said on “Fox and Friends.” “But they’re intentionally denying us that participation. They’re boycotting the committee. So what I will do as chairman there will be a majority of the committee present. We will waive that rule. We will report Judge Barrett out. She will go to the floor. And hopefully by Monday or Tuesday she will be on the court.”
In a later statement, Graham said: “Judge Barrett deserves a vote and she will receive a vote. Judge Barrett deserves to be reported out of committee and she will be reported out of committee. Judge Barrett deserves to be on the Supreme Court and she will be confirmed.”
Graham added: “As to my Democratic colleagues’ refusal to attend the markup, that is a choice they are making. I believe it does a disservice to Judge Barrett who deserves a vote, up or down.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) explained his party’s stance on Wednesday. “We will not grant this process any further legitimacy by participating in a committee markup of this nomination just twelve days before the culmination of an election that is already underway,” Schumer and the Judiciary Committee Democrats said in a statement announcing the boycott.
“Republicans broke the promises they made and rules they created when they blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination for eight months under President Obama. Then, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that ‘the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice,’” the statement also said. “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.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) also said: “Last week, Judiciary Committee Republicans broke the Committee’s rules, over my objection, in their power-hungry effort to advance this nomination before the hearing had even ended. Their haste is a disgrace. I refuse to legitimize tomorrow’s vote, which violates the Judiciary Committee’s longstanding rules. That is why I will not participate in tomorrow’s markup.”