The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to advance Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate. The approving vote, unanimous among Republicans on the committee, came as Senate Democrats boycotted the session. It also clears the way for Barrett's potential confirmation on Monday. If she is confirmed, she will be the first justice in history to be confirmed so close to Election Day.
Ahead of the Thursday vote, Democrats, according to CNBC, had announced they would boycott the hearing. Joined by the committee's Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in a statement said, "we will not grant this process any further legitimacy by participating in a committee markup of this nomination just twelve days before the culmination of an election that is already underway." On Thursday, Democrats did not appear for the hearing, instead of leaving "supersized posters of individuals who rely on the law in their seats," a gesture that was denounced by their Republican counterparts. Addressing the boycott at the start of the hearing, Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, said, "we are not going to allow them to take over the committee. They made a choice not to participate."
Barrett's nomination has proven controversial even before President Donald Trump officially confirmed her as his nominee, with many Democrats arguing that the winner of the 2020 presidential election should be the one to select the nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's vacant Supreme Court seat. Trump, however, moved forward with the nomination, which he confirmed in late September, calling Barrett "a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials, and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution."
Barrett served as a clerk for the late Justice Antonin Scalia and had been Trump's pick for a seat on the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals. She had also been considered for the 2018 Supreme Court vacancy, which was ultimately handed to Brett Kavanaugh.
Following Thursday's hearing, Senators plan to convene for a rare weekend session for procedural actions ahead of a final confirmation vote expected Monday. Graham stated Thursday that "Barrett deserves to be on the Supreme Court and she will be confirmed." The Associated Press reports that with Republicans holding a 53-47 majority in the Senate, Barrett is almost certain to be confirmed. Her confirmation would give the president his third appointment in just one term and would lock a 6-3 conservative majority on the court for the foreseeable future.