Only two days after calling on Republicans to delay the Supreme Court nomination process until after the presidential election, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has, once again, called on Republicans to delay Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination process.
In a joint statement Friday morning, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-CA) and Feinstein called on Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) to delay the hearing, in part because of President Donald Trump’s recent positive coronavirus test.
“It is premature for Chairman Graham to commit to a hearing schedule when we do not know the full extent of potential exposure stemming from the president’s infection and before the White House puts in place a contact tracing plan to prevent further spread of the disease,” said the Democratic duo.
Furthermore, Schumer and Feinstein said it would be inappropriate to hold hearings for a lifetime appointment virtually. They also pointed to Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), who is also on the judiciary committee, testing positive as a reason to delay the hearings.
“It’s critical that Chairman Graham put the health of senators, the nominee and staff first – and ensure a full and fair hearing that is not rushed, not truncated, and not virtual. Otherwise this already illegitimate process will become a dangerous one,” added the Democratic senators on Friday.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Friday that Trump is exhibiting mild coronavirus symptoms, but is feeling energetic. Lee said he tested positive for coronavirus after experiencing what he believed were symptoms of “longtime allergies.”
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) October 2, 2020
Graham has wished the president and First Lady Melania Trump, who also tested positive for coronavirus, a “speedy recovery,” and also said the president was “very engaged” in the upcoming confirmation hearings when he spoke to him on Friday.
The president was in good spirits this morning when I spoke with him and very engaged in the upcoming hearing regarding Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Barrett.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 2, 2020
Only two days earlier, Feinstein was joined by the nine other Democratic lawmakers of the Senate Judiciary Committee, including Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris (D-CA), in calling for a delayed Supreme Court hearing for an entirely different reason: The looming presidential election.
“The timeline for consideration of Judge Barrett’s nomination is incompatible with the Senate’s constitutional role. We again urge you to delay consideration of this nomination until after the presidential inauguration. The Senate and the American public deserve a deliberative, thorough process, and this falls far short,” they said.
Late last month, Graham vowed to begin the confirmation hearings process for Barrett on October 12, with the goal of having her out of the committee process by October 26, and has offered praise of her qualifications.
“I think she’s one of the most qualified people who will ever be nominated to the Supreme Court,” said Graham in a meeting with Barrett on Wednesday.
“I think she’s done everything anybody could hope a nominee for the Supreme Court would do in their life. You’ve lived an incredibly eventful life, you’re really good at everything you’ve chosen to do — from being a law professor to being a law clerk to being a judge at the circuit level — so I think you’re well-prepared,” he added.