The Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett and committee vote are moving forward as planned, according to Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham -- despite two Republicans on his committee testing positive for Covid-19.
The hearings are scheduled for October 12. The vote is scheduled for October 22.
Sens. Thom Tillis and Mike Lee, who both attended Trump's nomination ceremony for Barrett last weekend, confirmed they tested positive on Friday.
The hearings and vote will go ahead: Graham said he expects the two senators to be back in time for the committee vote. The concern is if Democrats boycott the committee vote, the GOP may not have a quorum for that vote if both senators are absent. The committee rules require a majority of members on the panel to be present for a quorum.
Graham said he also needs the two senators to be back by October 15, when the committee will begin its debate of the nomination after the hearings are done.
But even if they don’t have a quorum, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can always advance the nomination to the floor under the rules.
How this could affect the vote: Either Tillis or Lee would be needed for a successful confirmation vote since the GOP can only afford to lose three votes on the floor and are already likely to lose two: Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.
The October 12 hearings could still take place with the two absent. Graham said the two senators could participate virtually at the hearing.