The past week hasn’t been good for the Republicans as President Trump not only tested positive for COVID but now a handful of aids and Republican senators have contracted the virus as well. With the Supreme Court hearings set to start on October 15th, many are wondering if the hearings will continue with so many senators getting sick.
As the President and First Lady have taken necessary precautions, the fallout of their sickness is still being dealt with. In the last 24 hours, three Republican senators tested positive for COVID, with the most recent being Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin. With so many Republicans being quarantined, the left is starting to hope the Supreme Court hearing could be put on hold until after the election, but don’t bank on it.
According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, he doesn’t see COVID getting in the way of the hearing or filling the necessary seat. Talking on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, McConnell said, “The plan is for the nomination to come out of the committee on October the 22nd as Chairman Lindsey Graham has indicated, and we will be voting on the nominee very soon. I haven’t picked an exact point to bring the nomination up. But it is front and center for the American people. As we move ahead I will be more specific on the precise time on the Senate floor.”
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While McConnell seems hopeful, the sickness of two Judiciary Committee members could be problematic. McConnell needs the majority of the committee vote to solidify Barrett on the Supreme Court. If more Republican Senators get sick or have to go into quarantine, then McConnell might have to postpone the hearings until after the election and that could be disastrous given the outcome on election night.
As COVID rapidly makes its paces around Capitol Hill, two GOP senators have already been outspoken about the potential of postponing the hearings. Both Senators Collins and Murkowski were on record saying that whoever is elected on November 3rd should pick the justice. That statement alone makes it difficult for McConnell to try and postpone the hearings until senators are healthy once again.
Although COVID brings its own sets of problems, the hearings have been plagued with protests and rejection for the Democrats since President Trump nominated Barrett. The Democrats have threatened to pack the court and even filibuster if the vote isn’t postponed. Still, with the GOP holding majority of the Senate, and if COVID doesn’t get worse, McConnell could very well get the votes he needs to elect Barret to the Supreme Court.
This piece was written by Jeremy Porter on October 4, 2020. It originally appeared in DrewBerquist.com and is used by permission.
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