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McConnell to meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick next week

McConnell to meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick next week
© Greg Nash

Judge Amy Coney Barrett will start making the rounds on Capitol Hill next week as Republicans ramp up work on her Supreme Court nomination weeks before the election.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear McConnell faces conservative backlash over Trump criticism MORE (R-Ky.) said in a statement that he will meet with Barrett once the chamber returns to Washington next week. 

“I look forward to meeting with the nominee next week and will carefully study her record and credentials. As I have stated, this nomination will receive a vote on the Senate floor in the weeks ahead, following the work of the Judiciary Committee supervised by Chairman [Lindsey] Graham," McConnell said in a statement. 

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Graham will begin a four-day hearing for Barrett on Oct. 12, three sources familiar with the schedule told The Hill earlier Saturday. The hearing will pave the way for Senate Republicans to hold a vote on the floor before the Nov. 3 election. 

McConnell appeared to take a veiled shot at Democrats in his statement, arguing that Barrett should get a "fair process" focused on her "qualifications." 

“I hope all 100 Senators will treat this serious process with the dignity and respect it should command," he said. 

McConnell's statement comes after Trump formally nominated Barrett to the seat on Saturday afternoon to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgSchumer becomes new Senate majority leader Ruth Bader Ginsburg, George Floyd among options for 'Remember the Titans' school's new name Bipartisan anger builds over police failure at Capitol MORE. If confirmed, Barrett would help lock in a 6-3 conservative majority that will shape the direction of the court for generations. 

McConnell has come under fierce criticism from Democrats for being willing to move Trump's nominee through the upper chamber despite being less than 40 days away from the November election, after Republicans refused to give Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandBiden's new challenge: Holding Trump accountable Graham says he'll back Biden's CIA pick A Democratic agenda for impossibly hard times MORE, then-President Obama's final Supreme Court nominee, a hearing or a vote in 2016.

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McConnell argued that the same party, Republicans, hold control of both the Senate and the White House in 2020, unlike in 2016. This he says, is a significant distinction. 

But Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSchumer becomes new Senate majority leader US Chamber of Commerce to Biden, Congress: Business community 'ready to help' Why pretend senators can 'do impartial justice'? MORE (D-N.Y.) called the nomination decision by Trump and Republicans a "reprehensible power grab" that will undermine the Supreme Court. 

"Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish was that she not be replaced until a new president is installed," he added. "Republicans are poised to not only ignore her wishes, but to replace her with someone who could tear down everything that she built."