Senate Judiciary Committee sends Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination to full Senate as Democrats boycott vote


And I'm Noelle King. Good morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Cockney Barrett. Mr Chairman, the votes for 12 years and 10 not present motion is passed. Thank you. All 12 Republican senators voted for her nomination. The committee's 10 Democrats did not show up. They were boycotting the proceedings. NPR congressional reporter Claudia Gonzales has been following this story and the proceedings. Good morning, Claudia. Good morning. No. Well so fairly short today. This morning. What happened? Yes, it all went by very quickly, all said, and done and under 12 minutes. This is a very traumatic Shift from what we saw last week with hours and hours of testimony at least 20 hours of questioning Barrett by the members on the panel, both Republicans and Democrats, But today Democrats boycotted they did not show up. Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee sidestepped that no show to move barrettes nomination forward to the full Senate. Democrats said they were boycotting because they wanted to highlight the damage that bear it would do to healthcare, reproductive and voting rights and the fact that the vote took place amid a presidential election. And this is one battle. Democrats say perhaps the lose, but they're looking to win a bigger war. Graham alluded to that when he talked about the next vote on the Senate floor. Let's take a listen They started this On May For up to May that be a 60 vote requirement in the Senate today, and he's referring to the Senate filibuster there. This is a requirement of 60 votes that was once needed to approve a nomination like barrettes. But the filibuster was eliminated in 2013 as Democrats struggled to move their judges forward when they control the chamber with the tight margin, So that's what Graham is referencing, and he added later that perhaps this will be addressed again in the future. However, now that the Senate is controlled by Republicans with tight margins, they're able to push through barrettes nomination with just 51 votes. It's a preview of the battles to calm that this will go on after barrettes nomination this conversation even as far as she goes to the floor to be considered by the full Senate, and we see if Democrats ultimately changed the dynamics of power in the Senate or the presidency through the upcoming election day. How did Democrat to respond today? They didn't just say nothing right? Yes, there had been rumors for days that Democrats could boycott these hearings. They were facing a lot of pressure from outside groups to even skip out on the hearings last week questioning their it. But they decided not to do that last week. Instead, they did it to Dae. So later yesterday, they confirmed that they would all not show today they're empty seats were filled instead with images of Americans who have used the affordable care act. This is a case that could become it could be considered before the court next month. And so this is one critical issue They've been highlighting all along. They also held a news conference after the vote. This was led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on the steps of the Capitol is take a listen. The nomination of Amy Cockney Barrel. Is the most illegitimate process I have ever witnessed in the Senate, and her potential confirmation will have dire, dire consequences. For the Senate. With his Supreme Court and our entire country for generations to come. So this was the theme they've been driving through this entire process. Barrett will shift the court to a 63 conservative majority, and they say she's a foe to the affordable care act. The landmark abortion rights case, Roe v. Wade, and she could play a role. If there's a dispute in the election. This is activated activated opposition as well. There were protesters outside the capital. Speaking against this nomination, this resulted in about a half a dozen arrests so far today I spoke to Judiciary Committee Democrat Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut yesterday, said the watchword for them is no more business. As usual. He and the other members have been driving home this point that this is a sham process. It's not normal. It's not writing Americans should see it for what it is and probably see more of this in the coming days, because there is so much acrimony over this nomination. Yes, exactly So many reasons. We're in the midst of a pandemic. We're rushing this through in 30 days, one of the fastest, we've seen the fight over health care. And, of course, you know the division between Republicans and Democrats. Really. Exemplified by President Trump pushing this forward and so there's a long history as well of these fights over the Supreme Court in the controversy surrounding these nominations if we go back to 2016, Democrats try to move forward. President Obama's nominee at the time. This is Judge Merrick. Garland and Republicans refused because they said they were so close to an election months away. But here we are now people are early voting and they're pushing this through. So this is set into motion a series of debates to calm and we're even hearing about it from the Democratic nominee Joe Biden this morning. We understand he told 60 minutes that he's going to create A study a commission to bipartisan commission to study whether they should add more seats to the courts a lot more to come here, including next week, right what happens then? So tomorrow, the nomination for Barrett actually will reach the full Senate floor. It's going to be followed by some procedural votes on Friday, as well as on Sunday. In between, we're going to see a lot of debate an argument back and forth. But the rial final moment for this will come Monday when the full Senate will submit their votes for bear to confirm or vote against her nomination to the Supreme Court. NPR congressional reporter Claudio Gonzalez. Thanks, Claudia. Thanks for having me

Coming up next