Blog, Vacancy Watch

Vacancy Watch: Monday, October 5, 2020

October 5, 2020

AFJ is committed to keeping you informed about our fight to keep Trump from stealing #OurCourt.

PLOWING AHEAD: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) announced today that he plans to move forward with a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Amy Coney Barrett on October 12, a week from today. That’s despite the fact two Republican members of the committee tested positive for COVID-19 and two more are isolating because of possible exposure, plus the fact the full Senate is adjourned until October 19. Graham even postponed an unrelated hearing scheduled for Tuesday, but tweeted this morning he was excited to work with President Trump on Barrett’s nomination:

THE ROOM WHERE IT SHOULDN’T HAPPEN: So desperate to advance the nomination, some senators have even suggested having infected senators “perched in the gallery” for an in-person vote. This would pose a threat to all the other individuals in that room and any other space they would occupy. Just today, two White House housekeepers tested positive for COVID-19, despite not having had direct contact with the first family, and a Secret Service agent expressed frustration over how their team has been needlessly exposed to the virus — reminders of how many other people are threatened by these reckless violations of quarantining.

SETTING SOME STANDARDS: While Barrett’s opponents still oppose moving forward with the nomination in any way, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) laid out some strict expectations for safety if Graham tries to plow ahead:

MOON SHOT: Sen. Ron Johnson (R) tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, and said in a radio interview that he would don a “moon suit” to vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett. He is currently experiencing no symptoms and he does not know where he got infected.

CURSED MONDAY: Today is First Monday, the official first day of the Supreme Court session, and it kicked off with a stark reminder of what’s on the line with Barrett’s nomination. Justices Thomas and Alito issued a statement attacking marriage equality and insisting that “religious liberty” should justify allowing to discriminate against same-sex couples. In addition to her rulings allowing for discrimination, Barrett took multiple paid speaking gigs from the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBTQ hate group, and served on the board of a school with strict anti-LGBTQ policies. Our full thread on the threat she poses to civil rights:

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