Democrats Try Unsuccessfully to Trap Barrett

Democrats Try to Trap Barrett

( – Unlike in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings back in 2018, Democrats were not nearly as aggressive and were, at times, even polite to Amy Coney Barrett this week. However, under the surface, they were shrewd. They continually tried to get the Supreme Court nominee to discuss cases they knew she couldn’t talk about, and if she did, it would put her in jeopardy with the ethics rules for judges.

Most of the issues Democrats raised regarded abortion, healthcare, and gay marriage. All of the issues are cases currently either before the Supreme Court or in the lower courts. Democrats have attempted to use Barrett’s Catholic Christian beliefs to prove she would rule based on her religion. However, the nominee said she would rule based strictly on the law and the Constitution.

Democrats Try to Bait Barrett Into Violating Ethics Rules

In one instance on Wednesday, October 14, Barrett pushed back against Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), accusing him of trying to get her to violate the Canons of Judicial Ethics. He repeatedly asked her about specific cases regarding abortion and gay marriage, wanting to know how Barrett would rule or feel if she were on the side of a litigant.

On Thursday morning, Democrats complained that Barrett refused to answer their questions. However, Barrett’s issue is that she is currently a sitting 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge. According to the Code of Conduct for United States judges, she must avoid impropriety or the appearance of impropriety in all of her activities.

It states that outside influences, including political ones, should not influence her conduct or judgments. Additionally, the public should not get the idea or impression she is favorable to one position or another.

Democrats Try a Delay Tactic

Knowing they can’t stop Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, the Democrats are creating drama and doing all they can to delay scheduling Barrett’s vote out of the committee on Thursday morning. Being the minority party, there isn’t much they can do to stop the vote. Procedurally, Democrats attempted to prevent Republicans from getting a quorum to stop the process from moving forward.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) was the only Democrat to show for the vote to schedule the Judiciary’s final vote out of committee to the Senate’s full floor. Regardless, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called for the vote, over Durbin’s objections, to move Barrett’s nomination to the full Senate on October 22 at 1 pm.

Despite the vote’s approval, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) showed up to put forward a motion to postpone the hearings indefinitely. He argued the process was too quick and rushed. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) echoed Blumenthal. However, it fell on deaf ears.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will likely schedule the final confirmation vote shortly after the committee recommends Barrett to the full Senate next week.

Despite Democrats’ attempts to trap Barrett into ethics violations and parliamentary procedures to stop the confirmation, Republicans say they have the minimum 51 votes needed to make Amy Coney Barrett the next Supreme Court justice.

By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor

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