Senate panel advances nomination to the Supreme Court

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Less than two weeks out from election day, the U.S. Senate is gearing up to confirm President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee cleared one of the final hurdles to appoint conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett to the nation’s highest court.

But the historic vote didn’t go without some drama.

Since Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat became vacant less than a month ago, Democrats have railed against the idea of filling her spot on the court. But with little power to slow down Republicans, Barrett is one step closer to assuming her new position.

“To call this process illegitimate is actually being too kind,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY.

With little options left, Senate Democrats protested the confirmation of Barrett.

“We believe the American people should have the last word,” said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL.

“We believe both the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade could be lost,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA.

However, their boycott fell flat as Republicans quickly advanced Barrett’s nomination to the Senate floor.

Democrats say the vote without any of them present was a violation of the law.

“Chairman Graham has broken the rules,” Schumer said. “This nomination should not go forward.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX, says Democrats have no real basis to object.

“She’s not just qualified, she’s incredibly qualified,” Graham, R-SC, said.

“Rather than show up and do their job, they continue to do the theater,” said Cornyn.

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-MO, calls Barrett’s confirmation, which gives conservatives 6 to 3 majority, on the court a victory.

“This is the most openly pro-life Supreme Court nominee in my lifetime,” Hawley said.

The full Senate will begin debate on Barrett’s confirmation starting Friday, with a final vote expected Monday.

The last outstanding issue is if Barrett will — at Democrats’ request — recuse herself from upcoming cases dealing with the Affordable Care Act or a potential election dispute.

During her confirmation hearings, Barrett promised to consider the request but did not say what action she plans to take.

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