McConnell: Senate will take up Barrett nomination on October 23

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday the Senate will take up the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on October 23, with the final vote expected to occur the week of October 26, just days before the election.

The Judiciary Committee is expected to approve Barrett’s nomination on October 22, the week after they concluded confirmation hearings. McConnell told reporters on Thursday he has the votes to confirm Barrett to the court.

“We’ll go to the floor on Friday the 23rd and stay on it until we finished. We have the votes,” McConnell said.

After McConnell brings the nomination to the floor, the Senate will debate the measure. Then there will be a procedural vote and more debate, leading to the final confirmation vote sometime in the week of October 26. In a statement on Friday, McConnell said he would “proudly vote to confirm Judge Barrett.”

Barrett is expected to receive support from almost all Republicans. Only Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have indicated they are unwilling to vote to confirm a nominee before the election. However, as Republicans have a 53-vote majority in the Senate, they can afford to lose two votes and still confirm Barrett to the court. No Democrat is expected to support Barrett, partially because of her conservative views and because of their opposition to confirming a justice so close to Election Day.

Barrett underwent three days of confirmation hearings this week, but frustrated Democrats by refusing to answer several questions on some of the current hot-button issues. She declined to say whether the president could unilaterally delay an election or prevent someone from voting, both of which are unconstitutional, or whether she believed climate change existed. Barrett did not answer because she said she did not want to become involved in political matters.

However, most Republicans are impressed by Barrett’s commitment to originalism, a judicial philosophy shared by her mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia. She told Democrats during her hearings that she would not necessarily decide cases in the same manner.

“I assure you I have my own mind. Everything that he said is not necessarily what I would agree with or what I would do if I was Justice Barrett,” Barrett said of Scalia.

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