Senate Republicans have made it clear that they intend to hold immediate hearings to confirm Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
The ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, however, is officially calling for a delay based on the argument that there is not enough time to provide a thorough vetting of the candidate, as reported by Fox News.
“The Senate’s constitutional role”
As part of the confirmation process, the Senate provided Barrett with a questionnaire meant to gauge her views.
She has since returned the 65-page document to the committee, in addition to hundreds of pages of prior rulings, for members to review.
The first hearing is set for Oct. 13, but Feinstein claims senators do not have enough time before that date to properly review the material Barrett provided.
“The timeline for consideration of Judge Barrett’s nomination is incompatible with the Senate’s constitutional role,” she wrote in an official request that was signed by all 10 Democratic members of the committee.
According to Fox, Feinstein went on to call for a delay until after the next presidential inauguration, asserting that the “Senate and the American public deserve a deliberative, thorough process, and this falls far short.”
“Deprives the American people”
Feinstein’s request called the current confirmation scheduled “a sharp departure from past practice,” claiming that it “undercuts the Senate’s ability to fulfill its advice and consent role and deprives the American people of a meaningful opportunity to gauge the nominee and her record for themselves.”
Of course, her argument came 10 days before the first hearing is scheduled to begin. That period might seem sufficient for many Americans, especially given the extensive staff available to assist senators in the task.
Instead, critics are likely to see this as yet another stall tactic by a Democratic Party leader upset over the GOP majority’s plan to confirm a third Supreme Court justice in President Donald Trump’s first term.
As Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has repeatedly made clear, his party believes that “nothing is off the table” in response to the Republican effort.
There is plenty of historical evidence suggesting that a nominee can go through the confirmation process in an expedited time frame, but that is unlikely to quiet the outcries of Democrats on Capitol Hill.