Senate Republicans ramp up support for Barrett confirmation ahead of first vote

Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON, DC (NEXSTAR) — The Senate is on the cusp of solidifying a 6-3 conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ahead of the first official vote on President Trump’s third nominee, Republican senators ramped up their public support of Judge Amy Coney Barrett Wednesday with more one-on-one meetings with her and speeches on the Senate floor.

Barrett is expected to be sworn in exactly one week before Election Day, when voters could decide to give control of the Senate back to Democrats.

“I look forward to voting for Judge Barrett,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-AR. “She’s exactly the kind of judge Arkansans want: someone who will faithfully apply and uphold the law as its written.”

“She brings scholarship, a good temperament and integrity to the court,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-TN. “Those are the things I look for in a judge.”

Alexander is not running for reelection, and Cotton does not have a Democratic opponent. But with tight races across the country giving Democrats a chance to take over Senate control, Cotton said Barrett’s confirmation can only help Republicans’ chances.

“We expanded our majority just a month after confirming Brett Kavanaugh,” he said. “And one Democrat, one Democrat voted for Brett Kavanaugh, and he won his reelection.”

There is also a Republican push to prevent Democrats from court packing if they win the White House and Senate.

“You’ll eventually destroy the judiciary as we know it,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC.

Graham, who is in his own unexpectedly tight race, is pushing the constitutional amendment to fix the court’s size at nine justices. Democrats, including presidential nominee Joe Biden, have not committed to expanding the court.

“If the Democrats win the White House and they win the Senate and there’s a vacancy on the Supreme Court, they can fill that vacancy, just like President Trump has filled three in his tenure,” Cotton said. “But we should not ever simply increase the size of the court, pack the court to achieve partisan ends.”  

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Barrett’s nomination Thursday with final approval on the Senate floor scheduled for Monday.

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