Senate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination

Senate Democrats are holding an hours-long talkathon to protest Judge Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Supreme Court unanimously sides with Catholic adoption agency that turned away same-sex couples MORE's Supreme Court nomination. 

Democrats are vowing to hold the floor into Monday morning, as the Senate pulls an all-nighter ahead of a final vote to confirm Barrett to the Supreme Court. 

"Senate Democrats are taking over the floor all night to fight this sham process by Senate Republicans. We will not stop fighting," Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerWhite House draws ire of progressives amid voting rights defeat Murkowski to vote 'no' on voting rights bill Harris to preside over Senate for voting rights debate MORE (D-N.Y.) tweeted on Sunday night. 


Democrats are powerless to prevent Barrett's confirmation since every Republican senator except Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPelosi quashes reports on Jan. 6 select committee White House advisers huddle with Senate moderates on infrastructure Supreme Court battle could wreak havoc with Biden's 2020 agenda MORE (Maine) — who doesn't believe a vote should take place before the election — is expected to vote to confirm her on Monday. 

But Democrats are using the floor speeches, which they are highlighting on social media, to try to build awareness and rail against the decision by Republicans to move just days before the election to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgOcasio-Cortez says Breyer should retire from Supreme Court Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema Juan Williams: Time for Justice Breyer to go MORE

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDemocrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit Congress needs to fix the broken market for antibiotic development Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' MORE (D-Colo.) argued that the Republicans were going to turn the Supreme Court "into just another politicized body" and that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate GOP blocks voting rights bill Schumer, McConnell spar as GOP prepares to block voting bill Trump has 'zero desire' to be Speaker, spokesman says MORE (R-Ky.) "can't or won't think beyond narrow self-interest." 

"Ours is a Senate ... where words have lost their meaning. Party advantage dictates every action. ... Deliberation is no longer necessary because conclusions are all foregone," Bennet added.

Sen. Jack ReedJack ReedPentagon chief backs change to military sexual assault prosecution Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs warn against sweeping reform to military justice system | Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal | National Guard may have 'training issues' if not reimbursed Joint Chiefs warn against sweeping reform to military justice system MORE (D-R.I.) warned Republicans that by confirming Barrett they would create "lasting damage to both this institution and the Supreme Court."


Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) called the GOP plan an "obscene power grab" that was "poisoning the well of the Senate." 

Barrett's nomination comes four years after Republicans refused to give Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandGarland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump Man accused of punching, choking flight attendant on train at Denver airport DOJ forming firearms trafficking strike forces in effort to reduce violent crime MORE, then-President Obama's final Supreme Court nominee, a hearing or a vote.

Republicans argue that the political shift from 2016, when a Democrat was in the White House, to 2020, when Republicans control both the presidency and the Senate, is a key distinction that's in line with precedent.

“The Senate is doing the right thing. We’re moving this nomination forward. By tomorrow night, we’ll have a new member of the United States Supreme Court," McConnell said earlier Sunday on the Senate floor. 

But Republicans will set a new record for how close to a presidential election a Supreme Court nominee is confirmed. Previously the closest a Supreme Court nominee was confirmed was July.

"I agree with Mitch McConnell [who said] on the 13th of February, 2016, 'The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. Therefore this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,' " said Sen. Angus KingAngus KingCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Biden struggles to detail post-withdrawal Afghanistan plans Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle MORE (I-Maine).  

"He said that eight months before the election. This confirmation if it takes place tomorrow, will be eight days before the election. It doesn't pass the straight face test," he added. 

Several Democrats warned about the impact a 6-3 conservative Supreme Court could have on health care. Democrats worry that Barrett would vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act as part of a case set to be heard by the court on Nov. 10. 

Barrett signaled during her confirmation hearing that she thought ObamaCare could survive even if the court strikes down the individual mandate, which was zeroed out by Senate Republicans as part of their tax bill. 

"My Republican colleagues know they can count on her to provide the decisive fifth vote on the Supreme Court to strike down the ACA," said Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoSenate on collision course over Trump DOJ subpoenas Democrats mull overhaul of sweeping election bill White House gets back to pre-COVID-19 normality MORE (D-Hawaii). 

Several Democratic senators have already spoken on Sunday night, with others indicating that they would plan to speak after midnight. 

Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyMcConnell seeks to divide and conquer Democrats Senate filibuster fight throws Democrats' wish list into limbo Parliamentarian changes Senate calculus for Biden agenda MORE (D-Pa.) said he would be speaking around 12:30 a.m. 

"Senate Dems will never stop fighting for what's right, which is why we're holding the floor tonight in opposition to Judge Barrett's nom," he tweeted. 

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySenate GOP blocks voting rights bill Congress barrels toward debt cliff End the practice of hitting children in public schools MORE (D-Conn.) said that he and Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzThe Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Democrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl Schumer to force vote Tuesday on sweeping election bill MORE (D-Hawaii) have the "graveyard shift." 

"Yes, we fight to the end. No hyperbole - it’s life or death stakes. [Schatz] and I have the graveyard shift overnight on the Senate floor. If you’re up between 2 and 5 a.m. tune in," Murphy tweeted