Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings start Oct. 12
Graham announced the hearings schedule a mere four hours after her nomination was made public by the president in a Rose Garden ceremony.
President Trump’s nominee will sit before the Senate Judiciary Committee for what is sure to be a contentious process to fill the vacant court seat left by the Sept. 18 death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Though expedited, the process will follow the same framework as the previous two Supreme Court confirmation hearings under the Trump administration, Graham said on Fox News.
That means Barrett’s hearings will last four days, during which she will give opening statements, field questions from Senators and listen to testimony from outside witnesses.
“The nominee will be challenged, and that’s appropriate to challenge the nominee, but if they treat Judge Barrett like they did Justice Kavanaugh it’s going to blow up in [Democrats’] face big time,” Graham said.
“Amy Coney Barrett will decide cases based on the text of the Constitution as written,” Trump said of his pick at the Rose Garden ceremony.
“As Amy has said, being a judge takes courage. You are not there to decide cases as you prefer but to do your duty and follow the law wherever it may take you.”
Barrett’s appointment, which would be Trump’s third to the highest court, would drastically remake the Supreme Court into a decisively conservative body.
Democrats have grown furious with the Republican-controlled Senate, calling its leaders contradictory and disingenuous.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) refused to allow lawmakers to consider then-President Barack Obama’s SCOTUS nomination, Judge Merrick Garland, following the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016, reasoning it was an election year.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said he would break with committee tradition and not meet with Barrett.
“I will refuse to treat this process as legitimate & will not meet with Judge Amy Coney Barrett,” he wrote on Twitter, warning that her confirmation could pave the way for legal rollbacks of abortion and health care rights.
Graham, Trump and other Republicans have lauded Barrett as a top legal scholar and first-in-her-class graduate of Notre Dame Law School.
Trump joked at a rally Saturday night in Pennsylvania that she should be running for president.
When Fox Host Jeanine Pirro asked Graham whether he thought Democrats would boycott the hearings outright, he laughed.
“Well, it’ll make ’em quicker,” Graham joked.