Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., says he will wear a “moon suit” if it means he can appear for an in-person vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett despite testing positive for the coronavirus.
“There’s no reason we can’t confirm Judge Barrett,” Johnson said Monday during a radio interview on the Ross Kaminsky Show.
Republicans have been steadfast about putting Barrett on the court as successor to the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg before Election Day despite Democratic resistance and accusations of hypocrisy.
The Republican majority refused to consider President Barack Obama’s nomination nine months before the 2016 election, arguing that voters deserved a chance to weigh in.
The logistics of the GOP’s plans were thrown into turmoil, however, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recessed the entire chamber for two weeks after three senators tested positive for the coronavirus.
Two of those senators — Republicans Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah — serve on the House Judiciary Committee, which will hold Barrett’s confirmation hearings.
Nonetheless, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has vowed confirmation hearings would kick off on Oct. 12 as planned.
Tillis, who is currently self-quarantined, says he, too, would appear in person for a confirmation vote.
Democrats have warned that sending senators and staffers to work on the nomination puts them at risk of contracting the virus and have ruled out the possibility of virtual hearings, which they say are not sufficient for considering a Supreme Court nominee.
Johnson disagrees, saying the hearings could take place electronically or remotely, but voting would have to be in-person to adhere to Senate rules.
“If we have to go in and vote, I’ve already told leadership I’ll go in a moon suit,” Johnson said.
“Where there is a will, there’s a way,” he added. “We can do these things.”
Last week, President Trump, first lady Melania Trump, several White House staffers and advisers to the president also tested positive for the coronavirus.
Johnson said he is not experiencing any symptoms and insisted he feels “perfectly normal.”