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Senate GOP aims to confirm Trump court pick by Oct. 29: report

Senate GOP aims to confirm Trump court pick by Oct. 29: report
© Greg Nash

Senate Republicans are eyeing a confirmation vote in late October for President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE’s eventual Supreme Court nominee.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Trump casts doubt on hopes for quick stimulus deal after aides expressed optimism Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid MORE (R-Ky.) has not made any scheduling announcements since saying last week that he would work to confirm a potential pick from the White House, but a Senate aide told The Associated Press that confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee could begin on Oct. 12, followed by a possible floor vote on Oct. 29.

The Washington Post later reported that hearings could start on Oct. 12 and that a confirmation vote cold be held before the end of the month.

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A spokesperson for McConnell declined to comment on a possible Oct. 29 vote and instead pointed to remarks the GOP leader made earlier Tuesday that plans for a hearing are still being crafted.

“As we all know, the president is going to be sending up a nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy later this week. I anticipate, we all anticipate, it's going to be an extremely well-qualified woman, and with regard to the schedule, after that announcement, Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHillicon Valley: Threatening emails raise election concerns | Quibi folds after raising nearly B | Trump signs law making it a crime to hack voting systems Trump signs legislation making hacking voting systems a federal crime Jaime Harrison on Lindsey Graham postponing debate: 'He's on the verge of getting that one-way ticket back home' MORE [R-S.C.] will lay out the plan for handling the nomination before the Judiciary Committee,” McConnell said. 

Spokespeople for Graham said there were no new scheduling announcements for a possible confirmation hearing.

The report comes as McConnell appears to have locked down the votes he needs to ensure there is enough GOP support to confirm Trump's nominee. Only two Republican senators — Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid Senate is leaning to the Democrats, big time, with a wave MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Senate to vote Monday to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court Senate GOP eyes Oct. 26 for confirming Barrett to Supreme Court MORE (Alaska) — have said they oppose confirming a justice so close to a presidential election. Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyMitt Romney did not vote for Trump in 2020 election Biden: Johnson should be 'ashamed' for suggesting family profited from their name The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by the Walton Family Foundation — Pope Francis expresses support for same-sex unions MORE (R-Utah), the last of the remaining possible swing votes, confirmed Tuesday he would be open to sending a new jurist to the high court.

Should the rest of the GOP caucus hold together, McConnell will have 51 votes to confirm a nominee.

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“I guess we have all the votes we’re going to need,” Trump told WJBX Fox 2 in Detroit. “I think it’s going to happen.”

The president said Tuesday that he intends to name his pick on Saturday. He is known to be considering an array of candidates, but the top two contenders are believed to be Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa, both appeals court judges.

An Oct. 29 vote on a Supreme Court justice would bring what is expected to be a fierce partisan fight to a head just days before final votes are cast on Nov. 3. Both Republicans and Democrats are confident the fight to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Mitt Romney did not vote for Trump in 2020 election The Senate should evoke RBG in its confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett MORE, who had been lionized by liberals for her stances on gender equity and abortion access, will fire up both their bases.

Democrats have panned Republicans after the Senate GOP blocked former President Obama from filling a Supreme Court vacancy in 2016, the last presidential election year.