Lindsey Graham Says Amy Coney Barrett Could Be Confirmed By End Of October

( If all goes according to plan, Amy Coney Barrett could be confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice by the end of October.

That timeline was revealed by Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Sunday. Graham said his committee plans to approve Barrett by October 22, which could lead to a full Senate vote not long after.

Graham said the confirmation process is set to begin on October 12. That first day will include introductions and then two days of questioning. The Senate Judiciary Committee would then begin a review of their recommendations starting on October 15.

Graham explained:

“We’ll report her nomination out of the committee on October 22. Then it will be up to [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell as to what to do with the nomination.”

If that schedule holds true, then McConnell would have the option of holding the confirmation hearings before the November 3 election. He, of course, could also decide to hold the vote after the election in what could be a lame-duck session of Congress and the presidency.

While many liberals have complained that Republicans are going to be rushing through the confirmation process, there is nothing written in law that says they’d be breaking any rules by doing so. Andrew Prokop, a writer for Vox, explained it well. He wrote:

“In recent decades, the Supreme Court confirmation process — from nomination to the final vote — has lasted two to three months. Typically, this time is taken up by vetting of the nominee’s history, writings and career, and then hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee (which can last several days), before Senate leaders attempt to line up sufficient support for a floor vote.

“But there’s no reason other than decorum that all this has to take so much time. If Republican senators are unconcerned about the appearances of an unseemly rush to a vote, they can certainly hold a quicker vote should they so desire.”

If she were to be confirmed, Barrett would be the first justice to do so after July of a presidential election year. Again, though, if Senate Republicans aren’t concerned with only the appearances that would surround this, then it’s not a big deal.

Democrats know that they can’t stop Barrett’s nomination. So, they’re planning instead to delay it as much as they can and make life as miserable as possible for Senate Republicans.

On Sunday, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin said:

“We can slow it down perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at the most, but we can’t stop the outcome.”

While in a position of power now, Republicans have an interesting dilemma on their hands. This is especially true for members who are facing tough re-election bids this November.

If they push for a nomination before the election, they could enrage liberal voting bases and potentially harm their re-election chances. If they lose the election but then push forward with a nomination before the next term starts, they could be seen as not listening to the “will of the electorate.”