Thomas Gallatin / October 5, 2020

Senate Dems: ‘Delay ACB Hearings for COVID’

Top dogs claim no lifetime judicial appointments can be made with virtual hearings.

In their desperation to prevent Amy Coney Barrett from being confirmed to the Supreme Court, Senate Democrats jumped on the excuse of COVID-19 in demanding a delay of Judiciary Committee hearings. “To proceed at this juncture with a hearing to consider Judge Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court threatens the health and safety of all those who are called upon to do the work of this body,” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) disingenuously asserted. Never mind that Congress has been doing its work for months now, often via virtual hearings and meetings, without unduly compromising the health of senators and representatives. In other words, even if she is 87, Feinstein’s objection has no merit in reality.

Yet Feinstein and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer attempted to fabricate a new “rule,” claiming that “there is bipartisan agreement that a virtual confirmation hearing for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench is not an acceptable substitute.” Who are these Republicans who have suddenly agreed to this new standard? As John McCormack of National Review pointedly observes, “Many Senate committees have been holding remote or hybrid hearings since the coronavirus hit the United States this spring. That includes Judiciary Committee hearings for ‘lifetime appointment[s] to the federal bench.’”

The truth is that Senate Democrats recognize the danger in being seen attacking Barrett, a model of feminine success, in anything remotely approaching the grossly partisan and despicable manner in which Feinstein, Kamala Harris, and the rest falsely smeared Brett Kavanaugh. While such a blatant display of partisanship might energize the radical Democrat base, it would likely only serve to anger moderates as it did in 2018, when the Democrats’ disgusting performance helped Republicans strengthen their Senate majority. Therefore, the Democrats’ only realistic hope for preventing Barrett’s confirmation is to delay the vote until after the election.

Of course, this effectively makes any questions over Barrett’s SCOTUS qualifications essentially moot.

Does anyone actually think these hearings are necessary? Everyone already knows that Democrat objections to Barrett are entirely and purely political — that they’re not legitimate concerns when considering a person for a seat on the Supreme Court. Constitutional fidelity and the just application of the Rule of Law are what matter, and Barrett has an impressive record demonstrating that she is supremely qualified.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to acquiesce to the Democrats’ disingenuous objections, stating unequivocally that the Senate hearings would proceed as scheduled on October 12, and they will use a virtual-hybrid model that the Senate has been using for months.

If Schumer and company are so fearful of coronavirus that they object to committee hearings, then McConnell should call Schumer’s bluff and cancel the hearings and simply hold a vote. It’s not as if the hearings will change any senators’ minds. All sound and fury aside, Schumer and Feinstein have little ability to stop what is increasingly appearing to be inevitable — the lifetime appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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