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Amy Coney Barrett: The Prospective Confirmation Plan for the Supreme Court Candidate



Here is the anticipated timetable for Amy Coney Barrett’s probable retribution in the Supreme Court.

As is the custom, the committee withholds nominations for a week. The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet again on Thursday, October 22nd at 1:00 p.m. EST to review Barrett’s nomination.

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The committee will vote to have the nomination speak (technically the “calendar”, but that’s another story). A candidate does not have to have a “positive” recommendation from the committee to have a say. Robert Bork received an “unfavorable”

; recommendation from the committee in 1987 (and was defeated on the ground). Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was heard without recommendation in 1991 before being confirmed.

The committee needs a simple majority to push the nomination for the entire Senate.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Announced earlier this week that he would speak the nomination on Friday, October 23rd.

This is where things get a little tricky.

If the committee finalizes the nomination on October 22, the Senate cannot officially consider it until October 23. Keep in mind this could start at 12:00:01 a.m. ET on Friday if McConnell really wants to step on the accelerator.

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McConnell must put the Senate in an executive session (versus a legislative session) to specifically consider the Barrett nomination. Such a process will likely require voting – but is not controversial (subject to a filibuster). This vote can take place by roll-call vote, voting or unanimous approval (provided no senator objects). Democrats could wreak havoc at this point by not having a quorum present or by demanding a quorum – but not helping to establish a quorum.

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This step to the board meeting requires a simple majority. And once the Senate is in executive session for Barrett, the clerk “reports” the nomination to that Senate (reads it out).

There is no “motion to proceed with this type of nomination” based on a precedent set in the late 1970s by the late Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd, DW.V. So there is no way Democrats could be playing filibuster if they just started a debate about the nomination. However, Democrats could try filibustering on the back end.

At this point, McConnell could file Cloture to contain the debate and get past a filibuster. McConnell could do this as early as Friday, October 23rd.

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Regardless of when McConnell submits Cloture, the “Cloture Petition” (to end the nomination debate) will come to a vote after an intervening day.

If McConnell files Cloture on Friday October 23rd to end the debate, Saturday October 24th will be the day in between. The Cloture petition would mature on Sunday October 25th. Typically, an hour after the Senate meeting, after the intervening day, the Senate can begin voting to end the nomination debate. If they really want to step on the gas, they could do it at 1am on Sunday, October 25th.

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But we don’t know that they will move that fast. It is more likely that the Senate will end the nomination debate on Monday, October 26, or later in the week.

Under the terms of “Nuclear Option II” (where McConnell set a new precedent – no change in the rules – that lowers the bar to end a filibuster on Supreme Court nominations from 60 to 51 votes in favor of Judge Neil Gorsuch confirm) the Senate would vote to end the nomination debate. That means a simple majority. Once the vote on the nomination has been “called” (a filibuster is stopped) the debate will be limited to 30 hours.

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After 30 hours, the Senate can vote on the nomination itself. It only takes 51 votes to endorse Barrett.

Because of this, we believe the actual confirmation from Barrett will not come until the middle or end of the week of October 25th, likely October 28th to October 30th.


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