Senate Democrats can’t stop Mitch McConnell from confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, but they are planning to make it as painful as possible, Politico reports. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has his caucus on board with an effort to disrupt and obstruct Senate Republicans, using a wide range of procedural tools to make it difficult for the Senate majority leader. Democrats facing tough reelections and those who typically spurn delay tactics overwhelmingly support the hardball campaign. “The issue is that this is a power grab,” said Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL.), the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent. The goal is to highlight what Democrats see as hypocrisy and a blatant abuse of power on the part of McConnell (R-KY), who blocked President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee in 2016. Republicans need only a simple majority after Republicans eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees in 2017.
Some Democrats will refuse to meet with Barrett, just as many Republicans snubbed Obama’s 2016 pick, Merrick Garland. Schumer already has invoked the rarely used “two-hour rule,” which can be used to halt all committee business after the Senate has been in session for more than two hours. When the Judiciary Committee holds its series of confirmation hearings for Barrett in October, the sessions will last more than two hours. Democrats could then invoke the two-hour rule to halt the hearing for the rest of the day. On Thursday, Democrats refused to give consent for the Senate to pass a government funding bill, requiring McConnell to file cloture and set up a final vote possibly for as late as Wednesday, just hours before the Sept. 30 deadline. “Right now I think they’re just trying to throw a wrench into anything we do,” said Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD).