Order in the Court Hearings? A Documented Case of Civility Occurred on Senate Floor

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP)

The confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is one step closer to becoming a reality as the Senate Judiciary Committee completed the confirmation hearings and set what will most likely be a party-line vote by the panel for next Thursday.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein may have had the most surprising comment of the day when she thanked Senator Lindsey Graham. “I just want to thank you. This has been one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in, and I want to thank you for your fairness and the opportunity of going back and forth,” Feinstein said in a nice, rare, bipartisan moment.

Judge Barrett did not appear on Thursday after two days of committee questioning, but two panels of outside experts weighed in, including the American Bar Association along with four proponents and four opponents.

The American Bar Association praised Judge Barrett in their comments. “The Standing Committee concluded that Judge Barrett’s integrity, judicial temperament [and] professional competence met the very high standards for appointment to our Supreme Court,” Randall D. Noel of the ABA Standing Committee said. “Our rating of ‘Well Qualified’ reflects the consensus of her peers that know her best.”

Mitch McConnell has pledged to begin to consider her nomination in the Senate on October 23, the day after the Senate Judiciary Committee clears her nomination. If the process plays out as expected, Barrett could be on the bench in time to hear the next round of Supreme Court cases on Nov. 2, one day before the election.

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