By about 9 pm ET, give or take a procedural motion or so, Amy Coney Barrett should get confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice. As it stands at the moment, Democrats can no longer offer any roadblocks to the final floor vote, having lost an attempt to filibuster yesterday. That started the clock ticking on thirty hours of debate, which will change no one’s mind at all, and on a likely 52-vote confirmation of Barrett — if everyone shows.
Just in case two or more Republicans can’t make it to the vote, however, Mike Pence plans to come back to Washington for the vote. The VP will spend today in Hibbing, Minnesota to campaign for re-election but fly back immediately afterward. Let’s just say that Democrats aren’t rolling out the welcome mat, although in this case their lack of hospitality is understandable:
A deeply torn Senate is set to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, but Democratic leaders are asking Vice President Mike Pence to stay away from presiding over Monday’s session due to potential health risks after his aides tested positive for COVID-19. …
Democrats said in a letter to Pence on it’s “not a risk worth taking,” according to copy obtained by The Associated Press.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and his leadership team wrote that not only would Pence’s presence violate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, “it also be a violation of common decency and courtesy.”
Under the Constitution, the vice president serves as the largely ceremonial role of Senate president and can break a tie vote. Pence’s vote isn’t expected to be needed. Senate Republicans control the chamber and steered their majority to seize the opportunity to install a third Trump justice, securing a conservative court majority for the foreseeable future.
“Nothing about your presence in the Senate tomorrow can be considered essential,” the Democrats wrote. They warned of the risk not just to senators but the police, restaurant workers and others who keep the Capitol running.