October 22, 2020

Feinstein Remarks as Judiciary Democrats Boycott Committee Vote on Barrett Nomination

Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) delivered the following remarks on the Capitol steps as Senate Judiciary Democrats boycotted the committee vote to report Judge Amy Coney Barrett nomination to the Senate floor:

             Video of her remarks is available here.

             “Last week, committee rules were broken to set today’s vote – and the Republicans broke the rules again by proceeding today without any Democrats present.

             All along, Democrats have objected to proceeding on this nomination in the middle of an election. 

             Forty million Americans have already voted and we’re just 12 days from an election.

             In 2016, Republicans set a precedent against filling a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year when they blocked President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland for 10 months before that election.

             Then, in 2016, Republicans said it was necessary to hold the nomination until after the election in order to give the American people a voice at the ballot box. Specifically, Majority Leader McConnell said: “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

            You know, there’s an old adage: what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

            Now, however, Republicans are proceeding regardless.

            Last week, Democrats participated in the nomination hearings because we wanted to show what was at stake for America if Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed.

            We made our case about risks to affordable care, especially the Affordable Care Act, reproductive freedom, the right to vote and equality for all. We believe that both the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade could be lost.

            The Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee did not have the votes to defeat Judge Barrett in committee. At that point, there was no further reason to participate in a committee process that has been used to rush this nominee forward. 

            I will be voting against Judge Barrett on the floor. 

            But between now and then, Democrats on this committee and across our caucus will continue to make the case about what’s at stake for the American people if Judge Barrett is confirmed.”

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