Why Democrats were right to play it safe on Amy Coney Barrett's nomination

Supreme Court nomination hearings are as much about demeanour as they are about substance, writes US political correspondent Griffin Connolly

Monday 19 October 2020 22:48
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Liberals skewered Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein for being too collegial with Chairman Lindsey Graham at the Amy Coney Barrett hearings.
Liberals skewered Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein for being too collegial with Chairman Lindsey Graham at the Amy Coney Barrett hearings.

For Senate Democrats, the game plan for the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was a tricky one.

With no magic procedural bullet to sink the nomination, and with the upcoming 2020 elections as an ever-present backdrop to the hearings, they set out to accomplish four things:

1. Argue that the hearings were illegitimate — that senators and Ms Barrett shouldn’t have even been there in the first place, as millions of Americans continued casting early ballots and multiple GOP members of the panel showed positive on their Covid-19 tests.

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