Republicans to push Barrett's confirmation despite Trump's positive COVID-19 test

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Oct 02, 2020, 09:33 PM IST


Story highlights

It is being said that by confirming Amy Coney Barrett in Supreme Court, Republicans envisage a possible advantage if Supreme Court needs to get involved to resolve US Elections 2020

Senators of the Republican Party said on Friday that they will continue to press forward the confirmation process of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett in spite of President Trump having been infected with coronavirus. The Judiciary Committee hearings are due to begin on October 3. Amy Coney Barrett has been nominated by Donald Trump for US Supreme Court.

Mitch McConnel, Senate majority leader, said that the Senate would proceed with Barrett's confirmation.

"I think we can move forward. Our biggest enemy, obviously, is ... the coronavirus, keeping everybody healthy and well and in place to do our job," McConnell told radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt.

"Full steam ahead," an aide to Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham told Reuters when asked if the schedule for hearings due to begin on Oct. 12 could change.

Graham spoke to Trump on Friday morning and said the first thing the president asked about was the Senate`s plan for Barrett`s confirmation, the aide added.

Barrett, who was last with Trump on Saturday, has tested negative for the coronavirus and is following government guidelines on social distancing and other best practices, according to a White House official.

Republican Party has 53-47 majority in the Senate.

Why the hurry

Amy Coney Barrett is known for her conservative views. Republican Party's vote base is conservative Americans. If Amy Coney Barrett gets confirmed on the Supreme Court, the conservative judges will have 6-3 majority over judges who are more liberal.

Moreover, the republican party is trying hard to confirm Amy Coney Barrett before November 3 US Presidential Elections.

Also Read | Trump has the coronavirus. What risks does he face?

In 2000, US Supreme Court had to resolve US Presidential Elections after the votes had been cast and counted. Republican Party's George Bush was declared winner of the election.

It is being said that by confirming Amy Coney Barrett in Supreme Court, Republicans envisage a possible advantage if Supreme Court needs to get involved to resolve US Elections 2020.

What options do Democrats have?

At the moment very few. Although two Republican Senators have said that they will not support Trump's nominee, another defection from the Republican camp would bring the Senate strength during the vote to 50-50. Vice-President Mike Pence can then exercise casting vote in favour of Amy Coney Barrett.

Biden and his vice presidential running mate Kamala Harris, a member of the Judiciary Committee, blasted Trump's choice of Barrett, focusing in particular on the threat they said she would pose to healthcare for millions of Americans.

Biden noted that even as Trump's administration is seeking to strike down Obamacare in a case the Supreme Court is due to hear on Nov. 10, Barrett has a "written track record" criticizing a pivotal 2012 ruling authored by Chief Justice John Roberts preserving the healthcare law formally known as the Affordable Care Act. If quickly confirmed, Barrett could be on the bench to hear that case.

Democrats also fretted that Barrett could help overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide, a goal of religious conservatives.

(With Reuters inputs)