The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to advance the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. But the roll call vote was also notable for its silence from Democrats.
As the committee clerk read off a list of names, she got no answer from several senators. The reason was simple: Those senators, including Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal, weren’t there.
Knowing they lacked the votes to block the nomination from proceeding, Democrats instead chose to boycott it, gathering on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington to protest the GOP’s rush to confirm Barrett just days before an election.
Blumenthal said Barrett’s confirmation presents a threat to the Affordable Care Act.
“I’ve been listening to people across Connecticut who feel fundamental rights may be gone. Our Republican colleagues have pushed this nomination through in a raw exercise of power. They’re doing it because they can,” Blumenthal said.
Inside, the Committee voted 12-0 to advance Barrett’s nomination.
The Senate has never confirmed a Supreme Court nominee so close to a presidential election. Senators plan to convene a rare weekend session ahead of a final confirmation vote expected Monday.
President Donald Trump said it would be “so good” if the court now ends the Affordable Care Act.
This story contains information from the Associated Press.