(Headline USA) The Senate is gearing up for a rare weekend session as Republicans race to put Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court and shift it in a conservative direction before Election Day, despite Democratic efforts to stall President Donald Trump‘s nominee.
Democrats used time-consuming procedural hurdles to delay the start of Friday’s Senate session until midday, but the party has no realistic chance of stopping Barrett’s advance in the Republican-controlled chamber. Barrett, a federal appeals court judge, is expected to be confirmed on Monday and quickly join the court.
“It’s hard to think of any nominee we’ve had in the past who is any better than this one,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told Fox News late Thursday.
Barrett, 48, presented herself in public testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee as a neutral arbiter of cases on abortion, the Affordable Care Act and presidential power — issues soon confronting the court.
At one point she suggested, “It’s not the law of Amy.”
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said Friday, without evidence, that the Republican push to seat Barrett was “the most partisan, hypocritical, least legitimate process in the history of the nation.”
“We’re not going to have business as usual,” Schumer said as he forced one procedural vote after another.
With a 53-47 GOP majority, Barrett’s confirmation is almost certain.
Republicans on the Judiciary Committee powered Barrett’s nomination forward on Thursday despite a boycott of the vote by Democrats.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, the committee chairman, acknowledged the partisan nature of the proceedings, but said he could not live with himself if the Senate failed to confirm someone he said was such an exceptional nominee. Graham, R-S.C., called Barrett a “role model” for conservative women and for people strongly held religious beliefs.
Democrats decried the “sham” process and said Barrett would undo much of what was accomplished by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the liberal icon who died last month.
In trying to derail or at least slow Barrett’s confirmation, Democrats argue the winner of the presidential election should decide who replaces Ginsburg.
Barrett was a professor at Notre Dame Law School when she was tapped by Trump in 2017 for an appeals court opening. Two Democrats joined at that time to confirm her, but none is expected to vote for her in the days ahead.
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.