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 BarrettMcConnell pushed Trump to nominate Barrett on the night of Ginsburg's death: report Federal appeals court sides with Texas, Louisiana efforts to cut Planned Parenthood's Medicaid funding The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience 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 SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn 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 CollinsTwo more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism The Memo: Trump election loss roils right 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 GinsburgMcConnell pushed Trump to nominate Barrett on the night of Ginsburg's death: report COVID-19: Justice Alito overstepped judicial boundaries Defusing the judicial confirmation process MORE

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDemocratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Hickenlooper ousts Gardner in Colorado, handing Democrats vital pickup Lobbying world 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 McConnellImmigration, executive action top Biden preview of first 100 days Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight McConnell pushed Trump to nominate Barrett on the night of Ginsburg's death: report 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 ReedTop Democrat calls Trump's Afghan drawdown 'the right policy decision' as others warn of 'mistake' Overnight Defense: Trump fires Defense chief Mark Esper | Worries grow about rudderless post-election Pentagon | Esper firing hints at broader post-election shake-up | Pelosi says Esper firing shows Trump intent on sowing 'chaos' Esper firing hints at broader post-election shake-up 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 Brian GarlandMcConnell pushed Trump to nominate Barrett on the night of Ginsburg's death: report Feinstein to step down as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Calls mount to start transition as Biden readies Cabinet picks 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 KingLeadership changes at top cyber agency raise national security concerns Top cybersecurity official ousted by Trump Republicans start turning the page on Trump era 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 HironoHillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff YouTube temporarily suspends OANN account after spreading coronavirus misinformation 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 CaseyScranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Grassley tests positive for coronavirus Casey says he isn't thinking about Pennsylvania gubernatorial bid in 2022 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 MurphyDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Biden decides on pick for secretary of State Overnight Defense: Formal negotiations inch forward on defense bill with Confederate base name language | Senators look to block B UAE arms sales | Trump administration imposes Iran sanctions over human rights abuses MORE (D-Conn.) said that he and Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzTech CEOs clash with lawmakers in contentious hearing Bitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Senate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination 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