Blog, Vacancy Watch

Vacancy Watch: Tuesday, October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

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

WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today that he plans for the Senate to hold its floor vote on Amy Coney Barrett on Monday, just four days after she’s expected to be voted out of committee — and eight days before the election. That means the Senate will be in session over the weekend to keep the sham process rushing forward.

ANSWERS FOR THE RECORD?: Barrett is expected to submit her “Question for the Records” (QFRs) later this evening. The fact that the process had advanced before these written answers had been provided is unusual — but not for Senate Republicans’ incredibly rushed process. It will be curious to see if she provides any clarifications for the many questions she refused to answer during the hearings last week.

UNCONSCIONABLE CRUELTY: Multiple groups highlighted over the weekend another egregious ruling Barrett issued on the Seventh Circuit, this one absolving a Wisconsin county of millions of dollars in liability for a prison guard who repeatedly raped a 19-year-old pregnant inmate. Barrett joined an opinion that concluded that because sexual assault was not within the scope of the guard’s employment, his employer wasn’t responsible for the violations.

OBERGEFELL AND HODGES: In the landmark 2015 Supreme Court marriage equality case, Jim Obergefell squared off against the Ohio Department of Public Health, whose head at the time was Rick Hodges. Though their names usually appear in italics with a “v.” between them, this week they joined up to speak out together against Barrett and the threat she poses to LGBTQ rights.

PACKING HYPOCRISY: Senate Republicans limited the Supreme Court to eight members for over a year to prevent President Obama from adding Merrick Garland to the court. They now claim that they oppose court-packing, with Sen. Ted Cruz leading a half-dozen senators in trying to block any future attempts to adjust the size of the court — and thus seal the conservative majority they’ve rigged it with.

Make sure to follow AFJ on Twitter @AFJustice and check back for regular updates on the fight to #BlockBarrett.