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Amy Coney Barrett: The doubtless affirmation schedule for the Supreme Court docket nominee

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Right here is the doubtless timetable for the possible affirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court docket.

As is customized, the committee is holding the nomination over for every week. The Senate Judiciary Committee will once more meet to contemplate Barrett’s nomination at 1 pm ET on Thursday, Oct. 22.

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The committee will vote to ship the nomination to the ground (technically the “calendar,” however that’s one other story). A nominee doesn’t need to have a “favorable” advice from the committee to go to the ground. Robert Bork obtained an “unfavorable” advice from the committee in 1987 (and was defeated on the ground). Supreme Court docket Justice Clarence Thomas was despatched to the ground with “no advice” in 1991 earlier than being confirmed.

The committee will want a easy majority vote to advance the nomination to the complete Senate.

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Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., introduced earlier this week that he would put the nomination on the ground on Friday, Oct. 23.

Right here’s the place it will get just a little difficult.

If the committee finishes the nomination on Oct. 22, the Senate can’t formally contemplate it till Oct. 23. Consider, that might start at 12:00:01 a.m. ET Friday if McConnell actually desires to hit the gasoline pedal.

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McConnell should transfer to shift the Senate into govt session (versus legislative session) to particularly contemplate the Barrett nomination. Such a course of doubtless requires a vote — however is just not debatable (topic to a filibuster). That vote may very well be by roll name, a voice vote or by unanimous consent (as long as there is no such thing as a objection by any senator). Democrats might create some mischief at this stage by not having a quorum current or demanding a quorum be current — however not serving to represent a quorum.

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This step to go to govt session requires a easy majority. And as soon as the Senate is in govt session for Barrett, the clerk “stories” (reads aloud) the nomination earlier than this Senate.

There isn’t any “movement to proceed” on any such nomination, based mostly on a precedent set within the late 1970s by the late Senate Majority Chief Robert Byrd, D-W.V. Thus, there is no such thing as a means Democrats might filibuster simply beginning debate on the nomination. Nonetheless, Democrats might attempt to filibuster on the again finish.

At this stage, McConnell might file cloture to curb debate and overcome a filibuster. McConnell might do that as early as Friday, Oct. 23.

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No matter when McConnell information cloture, by rule, the “cloture petition” (to finish debate on the nomination) ripens for a vote after an intervening day.

So, if McConnell information cloture to finish debate on Friday, Oct. 23, then Saturday, Oct. 24, is the intervening day. The cloture petition would ripen on Sunday, Oct. 25. By rule, the Senate can start voting to finish debate on the nomination one hour after the Senate meets, following the intervening day. Once more, in the event that they actually wish to hit the gasoline, this might occur at 1 a.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 25.

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However, we don’t know that they are going to transfer that expeditiously. It’s extra doubtless the Senate votes to finish debate on the nomination on Monday, Oct. 26, or later within the week.

Underneath the provisions of “Nuclear Possibility II” (the place McConnell established a brand new precedent — not a guidelines change — decreasing the bar to finish a filibuster on Supreme Court docket nominations from 60 votes to 51 to verify Justice Neil Gorsuch), the Senate would vote to finish debate on the nomination. That entails a easy majority. As soon as cloture on the nomination is “invoked” (halting a filibuster), debate is then restricted to 30 hours.

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As soon as 30 hours have expired, the Senate could take an up-or-down vote on the nomination itself. It solely wants 51 votes to verify Barrett.

That’s why we imagine the precise affirmation of Barrett received’t occur till the center or finish of the week of Oct. 25, doubtless Oct. 28-30.

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