Vacancy Watch: Friday, October 2, 2020
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LAME DUCK L’ORANGE: In remarks Thursday before news broke that President Trump had tested positive for COVID-19, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he was open to a confirmation vote for Amy Coney Barrett after the election. Their plan, however, is still to have the vote before November 3.
REMOTE POSSIBILITY: In remarks Friday after news broke that President Trump had tested positive for COVID-19, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he would consider holding hearings for Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination remotely. That would mean senators would not even be able to see how she responds to questions in person. In May, McConnell called House Democrats’ plan for remote voting during the pandemic a “scheme” that plays “games with the Constitution.”
CONTAGIOUS MIKE LEE: Later this morning, Republican Sen. Mike Lee confirmed that he too had tested positive for COVID-19. Not only had he just met with Amy Coney Barrett on Tuesday, but he also attended and spoke at the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Thursday morning, along with Republican Senators Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, and Chuck Grassley as well as all of the committee’s Democratic members except Kamala Harris. That’s the committee that would hold the hearing for Barrett’s nomination.
OVER THE MEADOWS AND THROUGH THE WOODS: Amy Coney Barrett herself tested negative this morning, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been exposed. While she hadn’t been around Trump since the announcement Saturday, Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows has been shepherding her around the Hill all week while also being in close contact with Trump and Hope Hicks. He claims he has tested negative as well, which he believed entitled him to continue not wearing a mask when briefing reporters today:
WOMEN SPEAK: Today the Democratic Women’s Caucus from the House of Representatives hand-delivered a letter to McConnell demanding him to stop the confirmation process until after the inauguration of the next president.
A SURROUNDING FORCE: Marking the end of shiva, the National Council of Jewish Women led a series of “Circle the Courthouse” protests across the country to honor the legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
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