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Senate begins debate on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett

By
Don Jacobson
Amy Coney Barrett is sworn in as a U.S. Supreme Court justice in a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday, October 26, 2020. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 23 (UPI) -- The full Senate will begin debate Friday on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett ahead of an expected final vote on Monday.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said this week the Senate will remain in session over the weekend to debate Barrett's appointment, President Donald Trump's third to the high court since he took office nearly four years ago.

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Debate on her nomination is expected to begin at about noon EDT Friday.

The debate portion of the process comes a day after the Senate judiciary committee approved Barrett's confirmation. She needs only a simple majority of 51 votes in the full Senate for confirmation.

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"Handmaids Brigade" protesters stand in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday prior to a confirmation hearing for nominee Amy Coney Barrett in the Senate judiciary committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI

Democrats are still hoping to convince four Republicans to block her nomination to the court as Ruth Bader Ginsburg's successor. Democrats on the judiciary committee boycotted Thursday's vote as a show of opposition, which resulted in a 12-0 vote by the panel's Republican members.

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Trump nominated Barrett to the high court on Sept. 26, a week after Ginsburg's death. Republicans have moved quickly to confirm her before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has promised to disrupt "business as usual here in the Senate while Republicans try to use an illegitimate process to jam through a Supreme Court nominee."

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Democrats are expected to put up procedural roadblocks and deliver impassioned floor speeches between now and Monday, calling attention to what they say would be threats to the Affordable Care Act, abortion rights and other key issues under a Supreme Court with a 6-3 conservative edge.

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