Cotton: Much of the info senators need on Barrett already exists

Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Chris Woodward (

SCOTUS nominee: Amy Coney BarrettA first-term U.S. senator who has already been through two Supreme Court confirmations contends there's plenty of time to confirm Amy Coney Barrett before Election Day.

President Donald Trump's third Supreme Court nominee is on Capitol Hill today, meeting with GOP lawmakers in preparation for her confirmation hearing, scheduled to begin October 12. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and some Democrats have refused to meet with Barrett, who is expected to be swiftly confirmed by the end of October.


Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) believes Barrett can be confirmed before the November election.

"We have more than enough time to complete this confirmation process before the election," Cotton told the "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins" program on Monday. "We confirmed Sandra Day O'Connor through the Senate in 33 days, and John Paul Stevens was confirmed in just 19 days."

summary of Amy Coney BarrettMany confirmation processes in recent years have taken around two months. Even so, Cotton says that's because most vacancies occur when the Supreme Court term ends in early July.

"Ahead of that, the Senate has its August recess, and the Supreme Court doesn't sit in session until October – so there's no reason to move faster than that somewhat leisurely pace," Cotton continued. "But I can tell you having been through two of these confirmations, the amount of work that takes place in that two-month period in recent confirmations adds up to a lot less than two months of work."

Meanwhile, the senator pointed out it was just three years ago that the Senate confirmed Barrett to the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals – meaning a lot of the information senators would need on Barrett already exists.

"She's already been vetted, and there's already been a background check," added Cotton. "We've all done our work on Judge Barrett – and over the last 35 months, I can't imagine that she's engaged in any complex business transactions or overseas travel meetings with shady foreigners.

"All you really need to do is to review the written record – her written opinions, something I've done it in just a matter of a few days; and any senator can do it."

All things considered, Cotton is confident the Senate can have what he called a "careful, deliberate process that does not cut any corners and has Judge Barrett confirmed as Justice Barrett next month."

With Republicans holding a 53-47 Senate majority, and just two GOP senators opposing a quick vote, Barrett appears to have enough support for confirmation. In the event of a 50-50 tie, Vice President Mike Pence would cast the deciding vote.


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