WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Judge Amy Coney Barrett‘s Supreme Court nomination cleared a key hurdle Thursday as Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans powered past Democrats’ objections in the drive to confirm President Donald Trump’s pick before the election.
The committee is scheduled to vote on Barrett’s nomination Thursday, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. (ET).
This sets up a final confirmation vote on the Senate floor the week of Oct. 26, one week before the Nov. 3 presidential election.
The last day of the four-day confirmation hearing for Barrett began Thursday with committee Democrats protesting what they called the needlessly rushed nature of proceedings and complaining that Barrett sidestepped questions about presidential powers, abortion, voting rights and Obamacare.
“I believe that this rushed, sham process is a disservice to our committee,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. “She has been rushed in a way that is historically unprecedented … and the purpose of doing it is simply to have a justice on the Supreme Court, as the president said, to decide the election and to strike down the Affordable Care Act.”
Trump has asked the Senate, controlled by his fellow Republicans, to confirm Barrett before the Nov. 3 election, in which he is seeking a second term in office.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said he understands Democrats’ “disappointment, but I think their loss is the American people’s gain.”
Barrett, 48, answered questions from senators during marathon sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. The committee heard from outside experts on Thursday including two from the American Bar Association, which deemed her “well qualified” for the job. Barrett was not present.
Barrett’s confirmation to the lifetime post – a virtual certainty given that Republicans hold a 53-47 Senate majority – would shift the Supreme Court further right with a 6-3 conservative majority. Barrett is Trump’s third nominee to the high court.
If confirmed, Barrett could be on the Supreme Court in time to participate in a case on Nov. 10 in which Trump and Republican-led states are seeking to invalidate the 2010 Obamacare law formally called the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The law has helped millions of Americans obtain medical coverage and includes protections for people with pre-existing conditions.