The ten Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee indicated to Sen. Lindsey Graham their opposition to approving Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a letter addressed to the chairman, the Democrats called for a delay of the process, citing health concerns after two GOP members of the committee tested positive for Covid.
On Friday, Republican senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis announced they received a positive diagnosis for the coronavirus following President Donald Trump’s announcement that he was diagnosed positive.
Dianne Feinstein posted the letter to Twitter on Saturday, calling on Graham to delay the proceedings. It is one of several attempts the Democrats have made to deny Donald Trump his candidate from becoming a member of the Supreme Court.
"Two Republican members of the Judiciary Committee have tested positive for coronavirus," Feinstein wrote. "To proceed with a Supreme Court nomination hearing threatens the health and safety of those who work in this body."
The letter noted that a remote hearing conducted via Zoom or some other software was “not an adequate substitute” for the nomination.
"As Republican members of this Committee have recognized, questioning nominees by video is ineffective and ignores the gravity of our constitutional duty to provide advice and consent on lifetime appointments, particularly those to the nation's highest court.”
"The American people are looking to us. Now is the time to provide much-needed COVID relief, not rush through a Supreme Court nomination and further endanger health and safety," the letter reads.
Despite the letter, Republican members of the Senate are poised to go ahead with the vote. Speaking to Newsweek, Graham spokesperson Kevin Bishop said that the process will go forward without delay.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Saturday that the hearings will proceed through a “hybrid method,” with members concerned about their health participating virtually.
"Since May, the Judiciary Committee has operated flawlessly through a hybrid method that has seen some Senators appear physically at its hearings while other members have participated virtually," said McConnell. "The Committee has utilized this format successfully for many months while protecting the health and safety of all involved. Certainly all Republican members of the committee will participate in these important hearings."