Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett are set to kick off on Monday, but Senate Democrats are still trying to throw up roadblocks.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) just announced on Sunday that she believes holding the hearings is a risk for transmission of the novel coronavirus, and said that the scheduled meetings will “endanger the lives” of those involved.
Harris tweeted on Sunday afternoon:
By moving forward with Supreme Court confirmation hearings tomorrow—less than 2 weeks after members tested positive—Chairman Graham and Senate Republicans are endangering the lives of not just members and our staff, but the hardworking people who keep the Senate complex running.
Harris’s warning was not accompanied by a call to delay the hearings. It appears that the vice-presidential candidate is just throwing objections at the wall to see what sticks, because she tweeted, just hours later, another attack on the upcoming hearings from a different angle.
Harris complained that Senate GOP leaders are “fast-tracking” Barrett’s nomination because “in November, the Supreme Court is hearing a case that could overturn the Affordable Care Act. They’ve been trying to dismantle the ACA for years, and confirming this nominee will help ensure that.”
Harris, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is expected to occupy the spotlight during Barrett’s confirmation. She has repeatedly voiced her concern about the risk for COVID-19 at the hearings since Donald Trump’s diagnosis more than 10 days ago.
Committee chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (D-SC) dismissed Harris’s complaints, telling Fox’s Maria Bartiromo on Sunday that “we’re going to do what every American has to do come Monday – go to work safely.”
Graham continued pointedly:
Anybody that has a concern about showing up can virtually interview Judge Barrett. She will be there. I will be there.”
And, to my Democratic colleagues, America has to go to work Monday including us. We’re going to work. We’re going to work safely. If you don’t want to come to the committee hearing, you can interview the judge virtually.