Senate Democrats consider plan to boycott Amy Coney Barrett hearings

by Peter Heck · Sep 28th, 2020 8:28 am
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Last Updated Sep 30th, 2020 at 9:56 am

As a growing number of Democratic senators announce they will not meet with Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, there is increasing talk that Democrats may be considering a plan to boycott the upcoming Senate confirmation hearings on her appointment.

While the move would not stop Barrett's confirmation, Democrats could be hoping that objecting to the process as illegitimate will win them more favor with voters than potentially alienating those voters with criticism of the accomplished jurist and mother of seven.

Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii have both signaled their refusal to meet with Barrett.

Hirono said that while she "will not be meeting with her," she would leave open the possibility of participating in the hearings themselves.

While Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will ultimately make the strategic decision for Democrats relative to the hearings, his second in command, Dick Durbin, has made clear that he believes meeting with Supreme Court nominees and conducting confirmation hearings are an essential part of Senators' jobs.

"I've met with every Supreme Court nominee since I've been in the Senate. I will extend that courtesy, if she requests it, for at least a socially distanced, safe meeting, perhaps over the phone. I want to be respectful," Durbin said. "We disagree on some things. And in terms of participating in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, I'll be there to do my job."

Senate Republicans have expressed their intent to begin confirmation hearings on October 12, with plans for a floor vote as soon as October 26.


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