While the Democrats boycotted the vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-0 to advance the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett out of committee.
All Democrat members of the committee boycotted the hearing and did not cast votes. Instead, in a bit of political theater, they each left large photos of people they claim will lose health insurance in their otherwise empty seats.
“Judge Barrett is going to the floor,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., after the panel finished voting on Barrett’s nomination. “I hope you look back at this time on the committee and say I was there when it mattered. And you were.”
A confirmation vote of the full Senate is scheduled for Monday, October 26.
If you were wondering, here is clarification on the Senate quorum rule from the Indy Star:
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s rules outline that at least nine members of the majority (Republicans) and at least two members of the minority (Democrats) need to be present to conduct business.
While Democrats boycotting the hearing technically meant the committee’s rules barred Republicans from moving forward on Barrett’s nomination, it wasn’t expected to stop the process.
Sarah Binder, a political science professor at George Washington University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, noted that “committee rules can’t enforce themselves.”
“Were a Democrat to raise a point of order in committee against proceeding, GOP majority could easily vote down the objection,” she said on Twitter, noting that any attempt to enforce this rule would be quashed by Republicans who hold the majority.
A spokeswoman for the GOP-led panel pointed to a Senate rule that allows the committee to move forward and cited seven times the panel had curbed the quorum rules since 2006.
The Democrats don’t have the votes to stop her confirmation, which they have admitted. Should they attempt to boycott the full vote on Monday, I imagine that the Senate rule could also be overruled at that time.