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Supporters and opponents of Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court wasted no time in waging a tough battle over her confirmation, just 37 days before the election.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Has the support of Republicans to move forward with the confirmation process and confirm Barrett in the Senate before November 3, barring any development in his control.
But a barrage of emails from interest groups representing pro and anti-abortion rights, gun issues, health care, and more pledged to fight hard, making the Supreme Court an issue that would be in the foreground and at the center in the last days of the presidential elections.
It also means it will likely be a central issue in key Senate races across the country. House control is at stake in this election, and Republicans are fighting tough challenges in several states where the problem is starting to show up in ads.
Recent polls have shown Democratic candidate Joe Biden ahead of President Trump, but the focus has mostly been on the president’s handling of the coronavirus. Changing the subject for the future of the court, and the prospect of a conservative 6-3 majority, could help stimulate GOP voters in key swing states and inject new urgency into the elections.
A demonstration by liberal groups in front of the Supreme Court was scheduled for Sunday afternoon, and senators who expected to be on hiatus for the final autumn stretch of the campaign will return to the Capitol earlier this week instead to handle a confirmation process that will take center. phase, with efforts to put together another relief package for the vanishing coronavirus.
Barrett is expected to begin meeting with senators earlier this week, and the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to begin hearings on October 12. The panel is expected to hold four days of hearings with time for the traditional day of opening statements, Barrett’s interrogation and testimony from outside witnesses. This doesn’t leave much time for the panel to complete the FBI background check and review responses to the long committee questionnaire that candidates submit before hearings.
The FBI on Friday noted that the scope of that background investigation is required by the White House. “The FBI conducts background investigations through its established investigation process, and as quickly as possible, ensuring that the background investigation is thorough and complete,” according to a statement from the office.
“This should be immediate and immediate confirmation. It should be very easy – good luck,” President Trump said at his Rose Garden event on Saturday announcing his choice, but the crowd of supporters laughed. “It will be very fast. I’m sure it will be extremely non-controversial. We said that last time, didn’t we?”
Barrett is Trump’s third Supreme Court candidate. His latest pick was Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who was further screened on a sexual assault charge.
But while Trump is foreseeing an opportunity this time around, senators on both sides of the corridor and outside groups preparing for a controversial trial don’t have the illusion that it will be easy, even with the not really dubious outcome.
Mike Davis, the founder of the Article III project, a group created to support the president’s judicial candidates, said the night before Barrett’s nomination was even announced that his group would “take off their gloves, put their brass knuckles and fists back. leftist attacks on President Trump’s next Supreme Court candidate – a fight that will make Kavanaugh look like a walk in the park. ”
As Barrett acknowledged Saturday, it would fill the place left by the death of a pioneer woman – Ruth Bader Ginsburg – who has become a pop culture icon on the left, with the nickname “Notorious RBG.”
GOP supporters were already trying to define his choice as attractive to women. The campaign arm of the Republicans in the Senate started selling T-shirts with “Notorious A.C.B.” impressed on them.
🚨 LIMITED EDITION: Show your support for Pres. The Trump Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, with your Notorious A.C.B. T-shirt! Request yours here ⬇️https: //t.co/qi1eWqTz17
– The majority of the Senate (@NRSC) September 26, 2020
Conservatives are focusing on Barrett’s record as a federal judge and receiving the support of three Senate Democrats when she was confirmed at 7th Circuit Court in 2017. They are embracing her as justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia, for whom she employed. Barrett said on Saturday about Scalia: “His judicial philosophy is mine too.”
For Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Who is balancing concerns about house control with his main goal of remaking the federal judiciary, the ability to confirm Barrett, who would install a conservative majority in court potentially for decades, it is an incentive to move forward.
But a Washington Post-ABC poll released Friday shows there could be a backlash to the vote this close to the election. 57% of respondents said the appointment of a judge to the high court should wait until after the election, and 38% supported the action now by the president and the GOP-controlled Senate.
Trump was eager to make the issue a staple of his speech: he appeared at a rally in Middletown, Pennsylvania, in front of a big red screen that read, “Fill That Seat!” And he advertised his slew of judicial posts, each for life.
Democrats, who acknowledge they do not have the votes to block Barrett’s confirmation, are hinging on the debate over health care and the future of the Affordable Care Act. A case pending before the fall session of the Supreme Court has the potential to dismantle the law, and Senate Democrats one after another pointed out that Barrett publicly opposed the law and argued that adding it to the court in the midst of a pandemic risks coverage for millions of Americans.
“The deadly COVID-19 pandemic killed more than 200,000 Americans in a matter of months. Yet, instead of addressing the many life-and-death issues facing working families during COVID-19, Trump and the Senate Republicans are focusing on jamming through this appointment in a transparent power grab so that they can achieve their long-sought goal of repealing the Affordable Care Act and wresting healthcare from millions of people, including every COVID-19 survivor who has now a pre-existing condition, “the Democratic Senator from Illinois. Tammy Duckworth said in a written statement announcing not to vote on the candidate.
Outside groups have accused Barrett as a potential member of the deciding vote in court on the ACA. Demand Justice, a progressive group formed to oppose candidates for the president, nicknamed Barrett “anti-ACA Amy Coney Barrett“and argued that the trial to go to hearings in weeks was unfair. On Saturday evening, the group screened the words”SAVE HEALTH CARE“on the side of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, a liberal group focused on equal rights and social justice, told NPR before the president made his appointment to Barrett official that Ginsburg’s death was a “wake-up call” which would help put the issue of health care front and center for many who may have taken the issue for granted.
“I know it stimulated our side. … None of us wanted that to happen, but it creates visual trends that we knew existed, those of us who are very active knew this is an extremely important election,” Smeal said.
Smeal’s group has teamed up with other women’s organizations to create a super PAC called the “Vote for Equality” which is organizing efforts on college campuses in seven states with competitive Senate competitions to attempt to educate younger voters on legal issues. that could end up in the Supreme Court.
Biden’s Vice President, Senator Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and will have a chance to question Barrett, a time that is likely to receive wall-to-wall national television coverage.
But with little ability to skew the outcome, he could use the opportunity to highlight the issues he believes are at stake in the election and spend less time delving into controversial issues that divide the voters the ticket hopes to attract.
The two Democrats who are still in the Senate now who backed Barrett’s 2017 nomination to the federal bench – Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia – said they would vote no now because of how the leaders of the Senate GOPs are handling the trials.
“I cannot stand a trial that risks further division of the American people at a time when we desperately need to unite. I will not vote to confirm Judge Coney Barrett or any Supreme Court candidate before election day on November 3rd. I urge my Republican friends to slow down, put people ahead of politics and give their constituents a chance to vote, ”Manchin said.