Democrats demand COVID-exposed Mike Pence stay away as Amy Coney Barrett poised for Supreme Court confirmation

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Dave Goldiner, New York Daily News
·2 min read
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Amy Coney Barrett was poised to win confirmation to the Supreme Court Monday as Democrats demanded that Vice President Mike Pence stay away from the deeply divided Senate after he was exposed to coronavirus.

As the conservative judge cruised toward a spot on the top court just days before Election Day, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote to Pence asking him to skip the vote that is expected to cement a 6-3 right-wing margin for years to come.

Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Democratic leaders wrote that Pence should avoid coming to the session after several members of his inner circle tested positive for COVID-19.

“It be a violation of common decency and courtesy,” Democrats wrote. “Nothing about your presence in the Senate tomorrow can be considered essential.”

Pence did not immediately respond to the letter and has said he will not change his schedule even though his chief of staff and body man are among those infected. Pence has so far tested negative for the deadly virus but health guidelines say he should self-isolate.

Regardless of Pence’s decision, there is little doubt that Barrett has the votes to win confirmation as the first justice to be installed so close to a presidential election.

At least 52 GOP senators have said they will vote to give her a lifetime appointment to replace iconic liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died just last month.

The 48-year-old appellate judge’s rise opens up a potential new era of rulings on abortion, gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act. A case against the Obama-era health law is scheduled to be heard Nov. 10.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scoffed at the “apocalyptic” warnings from critics that the judicial branch was becoming mired in partisan politics as he defended its transformation under his watch.

“This is something to be really proud of and feel good about,” the Republican leader said Sunday during a rare weekend session.

McConnell said that unlike legislative actions that can be undone by new presidents or lawmakers, “they won’t be able to do much about this for a long time to come.”

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