Despite two GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee testing positive for the coronavirus, Sen. Mitch McConnell still intends to begin hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Oct. 12.

Both Sen Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Thom Tillis (R- NC) have tested positive for the coronavirus and are self-quarantining for at least 10 days. 

McConnell said:

The Senate Judiciary Committee will convene on October 12th as Chairman Graham has scheduled to begin confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The Senate’s floor schedule will not interrupt the thorough, fair, and historically supported confirmation process previously laid out by Chairman Graham.

“Since May, the Judiciary Committee has operated flawlessly through a hybrid method that has seen some Senators appear physically at its hearings while other members have participated virtually. The Committee has utilized this format successfully for many months while protecting the health and safety of all involved. Certainly all Republican members of the committee will participate in these important hearings.

Senate Democrats, through minority leader Charles Schumer, are pushing for a delay in the Barrett hearings, arguing it is unsafe to hold in-person hearings:

“As we continue to learn of additional colleagues testing positive for COVID-19, it is increasingly clear that rushing Amy Coney Barrett’s hearing forward in the midst of a COVID outbreak in the White House and Senate would turn an illegitimate process into a reckless and dangerous one,” the New York Democrat said during a news conference in Manhattan.

Barrett contracted the coronavirus over the summer. She has fully recovered.

Image Credit: By VWEAA – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,