Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said on Sunday that the Senate Judiciary Committee will complete interviews and hearings during the next three weeks so committee members can vote to send the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court to the full Senate by Oct. 22.
Graham, chairman for the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, told Fox News that the committee would begin the process to recommend Barrett for a vote of the full Senate on Oct. 12.
A review of the committee’s recommendation would begin on Thursday, Oct. 15, according to Graham. That process is expected to last a week, with the committee’s vote to recommend Barrett for a vote of the full Senate coming on Oct. 22.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, would then schedule a Senate vote to decide on Barrett’s nomination.
While Democrats have protested the nomination, saying the seat should not be filled this close to a presidential election, there is little they can do to slow the process.
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, told ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that Democrats do not have the votes to stop the nomination and very few tools to drag it out.
“We can slow it down perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at the most, but we can’t stop the outcome,” Durbin told Stephanopoulos on Sunday.
The process that leads up to the vote by the committee and then to the vote by the full Senate is a complex one.
Here is what happens when a Supreme Court nominee is being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee:
Committee questionnaire: The nominee will fill out an extensive questionnaire that includes inquiries about finances, events in a person’s life, what led to the nominee being chosen by the president and many other questions.
The completed questionnaire is presented to members of the committee prior to the hearing. They can ask the nominee for more complete answers to any of the questions.
Committee background investigation: An investigation into the nominee’s background is launched by the Judicial Committee. This investigation looks into a nominee’s professional activities. Investigators would examine a nominee’s work product and speak to the nominee’s past employers.
Courtesy calls: Prior to the hearing, the nominee visits individual senators in their office to pay a courtesy call. It is a chance for senators to meet the nominee first-hand prior to the hearing.
Evaluation by the American Bar Association: The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary will evaluate a nominee and present its findings. According to the ABA, the committee focuses on “professional qualifications: integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament” and does “not take into account [his or her] philosophy, political affiliation or ideology.”
After evaluating the nominee, the ABA committee votes on whether to rate a nominee as “well qualified,” “qualified” or “not qualified” for the position.
Preparation for the hearings: Judiciary Committee members will gather all the information available and, along with their staff, will come up with questions to ask the nominee during the hearing. At the same time, the nominee is preparing to answer all types of questions that may be asked. The administration will help the nominee by conducting mock hearing practice sessions.
Hearing: The nominee generally receives a public hearing before the committee, but the hearing can be conducted out of the public’s view. There is no indication that Barrett’s hearing will be held in private.
© 2020 Cox Media Group