Chuck Schumer’s Last Stand: Forces Rare Closed-Door Session to Protest Barrett Nomination

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 22: Senator Chuck Schumer speaks at a protest calling for the Republican Senate to delay the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Nominee Amy Coney Barrett at the U.S. Capitol on October 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Care In Action)
Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Care In Action

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) forced a brief but rare closed-door session in the Senate on Friday as part of the Democrats’ last-ditch effort to protest Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s forthcoming confirmation, just one day after Senate Judiciary Republicans voted her out of committee.

“Whoa…Schumer just forced the Senate into a rare closed door session. No cameras. No press. Doors being locked as I type,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) announced Friday morning, describing it as a “last ditch effort to convince Republicans to not send the Senate into this death spiral of power politics.”

“Long shot to succeed, but why not? Stay tuned,” he added:

According to reports, Schumer’s effort lasted roughly 15 minutes before lawmakers proceeded with an open session:

In a 51-46 vote, lawmakers agreed to a motion to “proceed to Executive Session for the consideration of Executive Calendar #890 Amy Coney Barrett to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.” Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) reportedly voted against moving into Executive Session.

“The chamber is full and McConnell is giving his Coney Barrett speech with his back turned to the Democratic side, speaking only to his colleagues, as if we don’t exist,” Sen. Murphy wrote, incensed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) behavior:

The full Senate is expected to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Monday, October 26 — the same day as Hillary Clinton’s birthday.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, affirmed that she stands with Schumer.

“Senator Schumer just said we will NOT accept business as usual, and he’s right,” she said, explaining that Democrats are actively “doing all we can to delay Republicans who are intent on rushing through this Supreme Court nominee”:

The Judiciary Committee voted Barrett out of committee on Thursday 12-0. All of the Democrat members, including Feinstein, boycotted the vote.

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