Schumer Reveals How Democrats Plan to Block Barrett's Confirmation

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Posted: Oct 12, 2020 7:00 PM
Schumer Reveals How Democrats Plan to Block Barrett's Confirmation

Source: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Ever since Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, Democrats have made it clear they are opposed to whoever President Donald Trump nominated, long before Judge Amy Coney Barrett was officially selected. They have tried to figure out every possible way to block Barrett's confirmation, even though Republicans clearly have the votes to put the judge on the Supreme Court.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), however, believes he may have found a way around the Republicans' numbers. Senate Democrats would refuse to show up, meaning there would not be a quorum, or the minimum number of senators to conduct votes and official business, Fox News reported.

The Senate Judiciary Committee needs nine members, including two from the minority party – in this case, Democrats – to make up a quorum. For a full Senate vote 51 senators have to be present. 

If there aren't two Democrats present when the Judiciary Committee votes on Barrett's confirmation on Oct. 22, that could prevent the nomination from going to the full Senate.

Schumer made it clear on Saturday that a quorum would not take place in the Committee.

To get around this, the Senate could vote on a discharge resolution, meaning the nomination doesn't have to come from the Judiciary Committee. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) could then call for a full floor vote. The Committee could also vote to get rid of the quorum requirements, meaning Democrats don't have to be present.

Right now there are 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and 2 Independents (that vote alongside Democrats). If all 53 Republicans show up, then Barrett will be confirmed. If the three Republicans who are currently quarantining because of the Wuhan coronavirus – Sens. Mike Lee (UT), Ron Johnson (WI) and Thom Tillis (NC) – then the confirmation fails. If all three are able to vote on the confirmation then Barrett will be the next Supreme Court justice.