Confirmation hearing for Trump's Supreme Court pick to start Oct. 12

The Senate Judiciary Committee will start its hearing for Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettCourt watchers buzz about Breyer's possible retirement Five hot-button issues Biden didn't mention in his address to Congress Conservative justices split in ruling for immigrant fighting deportation MOREPresident TrumpDonald TrumpThe Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race Iran says onus is on US to rejoin nuclear deal on third anniversary of withdrawal Assaults on Roe v Wade increasing MORE's Supreme Court nominee, on Oct. 12. 

The schedule will pave the way for Republicans to hold a vote on the nomination before the Nov. 3 election, setting a record for the closest date to a presidential election that a Supreme Court pick has been confirmed.

Though other nominees have been confirmed in fewer days, they were further away from the presidential election.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLindsey Graham: GOP can't 'move forward without President Trump' House to advance appropriations bills in June, July The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-S.C.) formally announced the hearing schedule on Saturday night after Trump named Barrett as his pick to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgCourt watchers buzz about Breyer's possible retirement Five hot-button issues Biden didn't mention in his address to Congress Schumer waiting for recommendation on Supreme Court expansion MORE on the Supreme Court. 
The hearing is expected to last three to four days.
Graham, during the Fox News interview, indicated that he could put Barrett's nomination on the committee's business agenda for the first time on Thursday, Oct. 15. Because of committee rules, that would likely set up a committee vote for Thursday, Oct. 22. 

"We'll start on the 12th, we'll have four days of hearings and then we'll hold over the nomination for a week ... and hopefully we'll come to the floor around the 26th,” Graham said.

Justices Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchConservative justices split in ruling for immigrant fighting deportation Top GOP super PAC endorses Murkowski amid primary threat Trump-era grievances could get second life at Supreme Court MORE and Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughConservative justices split in ruling for immigrant fighting deportation Supreme Court weighs whether to limit issuance of exemptions to biofuel blending requirements The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP makes infrastructure play; Senate passes Asian hate crimes bill MORE, Trump's first two Supreme Court nominees, both had nearly two months between their formal nominations and the start of their hearings.

Under the schedule set by Graham, Barrett will have little more than two weeks.


Graham pledged that he would hold the hearings early enough that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAssaults on Roe v Wade increasing Trump spokesman says defeating Cheney a top priority Biden to meet with GOP senators amid infrastructure push MORE (R-Ky.) would be able to hold a vote on the Senate floor before Nov. 3. Graham's schedule would set up a floor vote for the final week of October.

"We've got the votes to confirm Justice Ginsburg's replacement before the election. We're going to move forward in the committee. We're going to report the nomination out of the committee to the floor of the United States Senate so we can vote before the election," Graham told Fox News earlier this month. 

Barrett's confirmation hearings are expected to follow a similar schedule to previous nominees, meaning it will last a total of four days: one for opening statements, two for questions and one for outside experts, the source confirmed.

The hearings will give Democrats their one public opportunity to grill her on a host of issues such as health care and a looming Supreme Court case that could decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

But they are powerless to stop Barrett's nomination on their own. Barrett's nomination for her seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit was approved by the Judiciary Committee in 2017 along party lines, and every Republican supported her.

No Judiciary Committee Republican has signaled they have reservations about Barrett, and Graham predicted earlier this month that she would get the support of every GOP senator on the panel. GOP members of the Judiciary Committee have met in the Capitol this week to talk about strategy and timing.

"We're going to have a process that you will be proud of. The nominee is going to be supported by every Republican in the Judiciary Committee. And we've got the votes to confirm the ... justice on the floor of the Senate before the election, and that's what is coming," Graham told Fox News.

Updated 9:52 p.m.