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Democrats lament Amy Coney Barrett pick but say ‘we can’t stop the outcome’

Democrats on Sunday appeared resigned to the fact that President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett will get confirmed.

Democrats on Sunday lamented Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, saying it could be a death knell for the Affordable Care Act while suggesting there’s little they can do to halt the confirmation process.

Speaking with ABC’s “This Week,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Democrats “can slow it down perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at the most, but we can’t stop the outcome.”

Durbin, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, took Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to task for promising to quickly move Barrett through the confirmation process while finding “no time to attend the negotiating on the coronavirus relief package that we need to put together for the pandemic facing our country, for the unemployed people, for the businesses.”

“Senator McConnell refused to attend those meetings, didn’t have time to do it. And yet when this vacancy occurred, he dropped everything,” he said. “Now we’re going hell-bent on getting this done before the election.”

With Republicans holding a 53-to-47 majority in the Senate, four Republicans would need to cross party lines to prevent a vote ahead of the election. Two moderate Republican senators announced their opposition to a pre-election vote, but because McConnell eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees in 2017, Republicans need just 50 votes plus a tiebreaker cast by Vice President Mike Pence to confirm Barrett.

It appears highly unlikely any additional Republicans aside from Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, will come out against a pre-election vote.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., did not seem as resigned to the inevitability of Barrett’s confirmation as his colleague, telling voters at a Sunday press conference that they need to inundate senators’ offices with phone calls.

“We can stop this nomination,” Schumer said, “if the people rise up and say no.”

Some on the left have floated expanding the Supreme Court if Democrats retake the White House and Senate this fall, but Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., told CNN”s “State of the Union” he would not support such a move.

“I’m not going to vote for anything that would cause basically not to be able to work in a bipartisan way,” he said. “That is not something that I would support. I can’t support that.”

Democrats have accused Republicans of hypocrisy for rushing through the nominee with mere weeks until Election Day while Republicans in 2016 refused to hold even a hearing on former President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, months before the election, saying the decision should be made by the voters.

McConnell and other Republicans have defended the about-face by saying that, unlike in 2016, one party controls both the White House and Senate.

“We clearly see the Republicans have shown the height of hypocrisy,” Sen.…

Allan Smith

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