The Republican-led US Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved President Donald Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to a lifetime US Supreme Court seat despite a Democratic boycott of the meeting, clearing the way for a full Senate debate and vote on confirmation.
By a vote of 12-0, the panel approved Barrett with all Republican members voting yes and the 10 committee Democrats boycotting the meeting.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said the Democratic boycott was “their choice, adding, “We’re not going to allow them to take over the committee.”
“This is a groundbreaking moment” for conservatives, Graham said before the vote began.
Barrett, a federal appeals court judge whose confirmation would expand the top US judicial body’s conservative majority to 6-3, was poised to win the 22-member committee’s approval with unified support among its 12 Republican members even with the Democrats vowing to stay away.
In announcing their boycott of Thursday’s vote, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and Judiciary Committee Democrats said of Barrett’s nomination: “This has been a sham process from the beginning.”
They added that they “will not grant this process any further legitimacy by participating” in the committee’s vote just 12 days before the US presidential election between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden in which tens of millions of ballots have already been cast.
Trump nominated Barrett to succeed the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is the Republican president’s third Supreme Court nominee as he moves it further to the right.