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Sen. Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the upper chamber, conceded on national television Sunday that his party is powerless to prevent the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” Durbin told anchor George Stephanopoulos that Democrats have little hope of stopping President Trump and the Republican Party from filling the vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“We can slow it down, perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at the most,” Durbin said. “But we can’t stop the outcome.”
The senator from Illinois held out hope that two other Republicans would join with Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, and oppose moving forward before the election.
“There have been two Republicans who’ve spoken out already, Sens. Murkowski and Collins, that said they won’t support this procedure before the election,” Durbin said. “If two others decide during the course of the debate to stand up and take the same position, then we could have a different timing. Perhaps a different outcome.”
NEW: Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin tells @GStephanopoulos that Senate Democrats can “slow” the process of confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett “perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at the most, but we can’t stop the outcome.” https://t.co/zTNMzk2uyg pic.twitter.com/mA8TYkY9Df
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) September 27, 2020
He went on to complain that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “dropped everything” to move on filling the open seat, as if that was a surprise.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said last week that McConnell had the votes to proceed.
“We’ve got the votes to confirm Justice Ginsburg’s replacement before the election,” Graham said. “We’re going to move forward in the committee. We are going to report the nomination out of the committee to the floor of the United States Senate so we can vote before the election. That’s the constitutional process.”
Interestingly, Durbin expressed his disagreement with Hillary Clinton calling for Joe Biden not to concede the election should he lose, essentially throwing Hills under the bus.
Clinton said last month that the Democratic nominee “should not concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is.”
“I think she's flat out wrong,” Sen. Durbin tells @GStephanopoulos on Hillary Clinton saying Biden “should not concede under any circumstances.”
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 27, 2020
“I respect her, I like her. But I think she’s just flat-out wrong,” Durbin said Sunday. “The election itself is going to be announced, the winner will be announced at some point.
“If we are going to maintain a democracy, peaceful transition through an election is the only way to do it,” he added. “Whoever the winner is, if it is clear and legal, that should be announced and the other party should concede.”
As for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s upcoming confirmation process, two Democratic senators have already said they are taking their ball and going home, and their ranks grew by one on Sunday when Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., announced she too will not perform her duties as a U.S. senator.
“I will not meet with Judge Amy Coney Barrett,” Gillibrand declared in a tweet. “This nomination process is illegitimate. I refuse to participate in the further degradation of our democracy and our judiciary.”
I will not meet with Judge Amy Coney Barrett. This nomination process is illegitimate. I refuse to participate in the further degradation of our democracy and our judiciary.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) September 27, 2020
The other two Democrats are Sens. Mazie Hirono, from Hawaii, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, from Connecticut, who have said they will forego the traditional process of meeting individually with a Supreme Court nominee ahead of the confirmation hearing.
The party’s strategy appears to be to do all they can to question the legitimacy of an eventual Barrett confirmation — never mind if they are effectively undermining the very institution of our constitutional republic, that’s old hat by now.
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