"We're going to vote on the judge on October 22," Chairman Lindsey Graham informed his interrupting Democratic colleagues on Thursday.
Judging by his exhausted demeanor, Graham was fully expecting the Democratic panelists to try and stop the proceedings to confirm Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. First it was Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who told the chairman he could not move forward until at least another member of the minority was present. Then Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) interjected to introduce a motion to delay the vote.
"No, we're not going to do that," Graham said, shaking his head.
But the Democrats persisted, with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) calling the process a "sham," and ranking member Dianne Feinstein accusing Republicans of tainting the integrity of the committee.
"This is being done without precedent to show power and push someone through and really abrogate the value of hearings this committee should treasure and respect," Feinstein alleged.
"It breaches everything that we have held dear," Feinstein continued.
Graham relented that he will humor their motions, but he wants them to be able to hear from the day's witnesses.
"I hate it for the panel," he said, but he'd "leave it up" to his colleagues.
The Democrats argued that they must delay because there are videos and documents of Barrett they have yet to discuss, while others suggested the timeline of events was "unprecedented."
"There's nothing out of the norm here," Graham returned, adding that each member had 50 minutes to question the nominee.
He got to the heart of the issue.
"2016 gave an outcome different than anybody thought," he said, besides the Americans who voted for President Trump. "And isn't that ironic. The American people actually get a say."
And from that day forward, there's been an effort to say that the election wasn't legitimate, the chairman noted. But he's not halting the confirmation.
"There's no way you could ever convince me that Amy Coney Barrett is not qualified," Graham said.
The Democrats can really blame themselves for Graham's stubbornness. It was their antics during the 2018 confirmation hearing for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that changed him forever.
"After Kavanaugh, everything's changed for me," he said.
I think we all know what the actual "sham" in the Senate is today.
Magically, they all have shown up! https://t.co/WoYmsVKqbe— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) October 15, 2020
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