Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., listens as Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Credit: Samuel Corum / AP

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee officially set an Oct. 22 vote on Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, with Republicans voting to move forward without Democrats on a timeline that could put her on the court by the end of the month.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois was the only Democrat who showed up to a committee business meeting Thursday morning to consider the nomination, which under the letter of committee rules meant there were not two members of the minority party to form a quorum to conduct business.

Chairman Lindsey Graham responded with a motion to hold the vote at 1 p.m. on Oct. 22, which Republicans backed. And the South Carolina Republican suggested Democrats would be able to do the same if Republicans tried to stop committee work.

“We’ve had this problem in the past, we’re dealing with it the way we are today,” Graham said. “If we create this problem for you in the future, you’re going to do what I’m going to do, which is move forward on the business of the committee.”

After that vote, Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal entered the hearing room and made a motion to indefinitely postpone the committee’s consideration of Barrett’s nomination.

Blumenthal said there has been inadequate time to consider the nomination, and pointed to undisclosed documents in Barrett’s past. Graham responded that committee members already know the positions Barrett takes as an individual on issues such as abortion.

“There’s nothing out of the norm here in terms of the time we’ve given this matter,” Graham said. “We’ve had two days of hearings. Each member had 50 minutes so, with all due respect, we’ll call the roll.”

Story by Todd Ruger

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