Senate Democrats are calling for a delay in the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett after Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) got COVID.
Senate Democratic Leader Schumer and ranking Judiciary Committee member Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:
It is premature for Chairman Graham to commit to a hearing schedule when we do not know the full extent of potential exposure stemming from the president’s infection and before the White House puts in place a contact tracing plan to prevent further spread of the disease. The unfortunate news about the infection of our colleague Senator Mike Lee makes it even more clear that health and safety must guide the schedule for all Senate activities, including hearings. In addition, there is bipartisan agreement that a virtual confirmation hearing for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench is not an acceptable substitute.
All circuit court nominees have appeared in person during the pandemic, and there is far more at stake for the American people with this Supreme Court nomination, including the Affordable Care being struck down and more than 7 million COVID survivors being denied health coverage. It’s critical that Chairman Graham put the health of senators, the nominee, and staff first – and ensure a full and fair hearing that is not rushed, not truncated, and not virtual. Otherwise this already illegitimate process will become a dangerous one.
Mike Lee was hugging people at Trump’s maskless non-socially distanced Amy Coney Barrett nomination announcement:
The idea of hugging anyone who is not my wife right now is unthinkable. These people, either by virtue of taxpayer-funded daily testing or sheer ignorance, are afforded things those of us with families or loved ones who would die if infected have been denied for months. pic.twitter.com/2pCSBwtFZ0
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 26, 2020
Trump’s desire to ram a Supreme Court nominee through the Senate before election day turned the Barrett announcement into a super spreader event.
Democrats are right. The confirmation hearings for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court can’t be held over Zoom. Judge Barrett already had the coronavirus, but with the extent of Trump’s outbreak unknown, the safe and smart thing to do is to postpone the hearings until after the outbreak is under control.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association