It is probable that Judge Amy Coney Barrett will be confirmed to the Supreme Court. However, there are two things that can stop Judge Barrett from being confirmed before the election: COVID-19 and an outpouring of calls to the offices of Senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham focused on their prioritizing the Barrett nomination over pandemic relief, and their hypocrisy of flip flopping on confirming justices during an election.
Make no mistake, it does not matter that you are not a constituent. Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham are ultimate political “animals.” Graham, tied with Jamie Harrison in his South Carolina re-election bid, is very much aware of the record-breaking $57 million in donations Harrison received last quarter. McConnell knows he is in danger of losing his majority and therefore his status as majority leader.
The Senate call-in number is (202) 224-3121. Call and ask to be connected to their offices. You might want to mention to McConnell, who has said he will schedule the vote on Barrett’s nomination literally just days before November 3:
· The vote to confirm Judge Barrett should not be held prior to the election.
· 74 percent of voters, Democrats and Republicans alike, want the Senate to take on COVID-19 relief before the Barrett nomination.
· Senators have to vote in person. McConnell shut down the Senate due to COVID, but not the Barrett hearings, which is reckless. He said: “The virus is our biggest enemy in confirming Barrett before the election … keeping everybody healthy and well and in place to do our job.”
· McConnell’s hypocrisy is unacceptable. His willingness to schedule a vote just days before November 3, when more than 10 million people will have already voted, is setting a dangerous precedent of might makes right. Having refused to give President Obama’s last Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, a hearing because the election was nine months away, saying the people should decide who makes the nomination, was politics at its worst.
Call that same number, (202) 224-3121, to reach Senator Graham, to whom you could say:
· The Justice Barrett hearings should be cancelled due to the threat of COVID-19.
· More than 214,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, an airborne disease. Graham’s refusal to be tested, saying, “Testing everyone in the committee room would be unreasonable,” and holding the hearing with two senators who have tested positive yet are not wearing facemasks, is reckless and unacceptable.
· Graham’s hypocrisy in having said that that if a vacancy occurred on the Supreme Court in the last year of Trump’s presidency there would be no hearings on a Trump nominee.
· Polling shows that 56 percent of Americans say filling Justice Ginsburg’s seat should be left to the winner of the presidential election. When combined with the threat posed by the virus, the number jumps to 62 percent.
If enough of these calls are made, it will have an impact. While this approach might not stop the Judiciary Committee from recommending Judge Barrett to the full Senate before the election, it could force them to postpone the confirmation vote by the Senate until after the election. If that happens and Biden wins, all bets will be off.
Let McConnell and Graham know they will pay a big price for their reckless hypocrisy.