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US Senate panel approves Trump's Supreme Courtroom election regardless of democratic boycotts

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Barrett meets with U.S. Senators before voting on her nomination

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Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate Republican-led Justice Committee on Thursday approved President Donald Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to a lifelong seat on the U.S. Supreme Court despite a Democratic boycott of the meeting, paving the way for a full Debate and vote in the Senate cleared confirmation.

With a vote of 12-0, the panel approved Barrett, with all Republican members voting yes and the committee's 10 Democrats boycotting the meeting.

Lindsey Graham (NYSE :), chairman of the judiciary committee, said the Democratic boycott was "their choice," adding, "We will not allow them to take over the committee."

"This is a landmark moment" for Conservatives, Graham said before the vote began.

Barrett, a federal appeals judge whose confirmation would raise the Conservative majority of the US Supreme Justice to 6-3, stood ready to win the approval of the 22-member committee with unified support among its 12 Republican members, even if the Democrats promised themselves keep away.

Announcing their boycott of the vote Thursday, Senate Democratic Chairman Chuck Schumer and Justice Committee Democrats said of Barrett's nomination, "This was a bogus trial from the start."

They added that they "will not give this process any further legitimacy by participating in the committee vote" just 12 days before the US presidential election between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, which has already seen tens of millions of ballots.

Trump nominated Barrett as the successor to the late Liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is the Republican president's third candidate for the Supreme Court when he moves her further to the right.

Barrett, a Christian Conservative favorite, frustrated the Justice Committee Democrats during their confirmation hearing last week by bypassing questions about abortion, presidential powers, climate change, voting rights, Obamacare and other issues.

Barrett, 48, is a devout Catholic who speaks out against abortion personally. Barrett told the committee last week that she believed the landmark judgment from Roe v. Wade from 1973, which legalized abortion nationwide, is not a "super precedent" that may never be overturned. Barrett also said she had "no agenda" to push back on abortion rights. Trump said in 2016 he would appoint judges who would overthrow Roe.

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The Senate Republicans, who have made Trump's Conservative Justice officials' endorsement a high priority, have pulled out all the stops to ensure that the Chamber can confirm Barrett's position before Election Day on November 3rd as requested by the President Has. Republicans have a 53-47 Senate majority, which makes their endorsement a virtual certainty.

Trump has said he believes the Supreme Court will rule on the election result and has made it clear that he wants Barrett on the bench for all election-related cases.

The Democrats urged them to withdraw from such cases because of a conflict of interest in the possible decision on the political fate of the president who nominated them so shortly before the election. She refused her requests.

No candidate for the Supreme Court has ever been approved by the Senate so close to a presidential election.

Republicans hope Barrett's endorsement can give the party's incumbent senators facing tough re-election campaigns a boost, including Graham in South Carolina and panelists Joni Ernst in Iowa and Thom Tillis in North Carolina.

Democrats were outraged that Senate Republicans pushed the nomination so close to an election after refusing to allow the House to respond to a Supreme Court nomination by Trump's Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, in 2016 for overriding was an election year.

Some leftists pioneered the idea of ​​increasing the number of judges if Biden wins to counter the court's deviation to law amid actions by Senate Republicans in 2016 and now. Republicans have denounced the idea as a "trial".

Biden said last week he was "not a fan" of trials but kept his options open. The number of judges has been set at nine by law for more than a century.

Trump appointed Barrett to the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals, based in Chicago. If confirmed, Barrett could serve on the Supreme Court for decades along with Trump's two other candidates, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

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Steven Gregory