Senate moves forward with Barrett confirmation meetings, questionnaire

Despite objections from Democrats, the Republican-controlled Senate is moving forward with its consideration of President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

As part of that process, Barrett has begun to meet with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and submitted a lengthy questionnaire that serves as a resume of her past work and provides insight into the kind of justice she might be, Fox News reports.

“The response comprises over 1,800 pages of documentation, including over 150 speeches and writings, for both academic and popular audiences, and identifying nearly 100 opinions she has written and over 800 appeals in which she has participated,” reads a statement from the Judiciary Committee website.

A life’s work condensed down to 65 pages

The completed 65-page questionnaire, which has now officially been made public, includes details such as Barrett’s educational and career history, her memberships in various associations, and documentation of speeches she has delivered and writings that have been published.

Barrett also provided a brief synopsis of some of the more “significant” cases she has ruled on while serving as a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, a position to which she was nominated by Trump in 2017.

The nominee also provided responses to queries regarding when she would consider recusing herself from a case as well as how she would handle a potential conflict of interest.

How Barrett responded to the many questions will be judged by the select members of the Judiciary Committee and any other senator who is interested. That information should play a role in how those senators view the nominee and whether they will vote to confirm her nomination.

Confirmation hearings begin in a few weeks

According to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), confirmation hearings for Barrett will begin on Oct. 12 and, assuming all goes as planned, she could receive a confirmation by the full Senate by the end of October, taking a seat on the high court just prior to the election, The Washington Times reported.

Thanks to the 2013 “nuclear option” by former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) that ended the 60-vote threshold filibuster for judicial nominations — which was expanded to include Supreme Court nominations in 2017 by current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — Barrett needs only a simple majority of votes to be confirmed.

Republicans currently enjoy a 53–47 majority over Democrats in the Senate and can afford to lose up to three members as “no” votes on Barrett and still see her confirmed, as Vice President Mike Pence would provide the tie-breaking vote.

Thus far, only Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have expressed disapproval in moving forward with the nomination.

That said, their complaints were largely centered on the timing of the process and not the nominee herself. There remains a possibility that all 53 Republicans — and perhaps even a few Democrats — could vote to confirm her nomination once the process has played out.

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