Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Friday evening it would be “irresponsible and dangerous” to move forward with a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee on Oct. 12 after two Republican senators on the panel confirmed they have tested positive for the coronavirus.
“We now have two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who have tested positive for COVID, and there may be more,” Schumer tweeted. “I wish my colleagues well. It is irresponsible and dangerous to move forward with a hearing, and there is absolutely no good reason to do so.”
Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. and Mike Lee, R-Utah, both confirmed Friday they had tested positive for the virus and will self-isolate for 10 days. The senators said they had little to no symptoms. President Trump also said he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive early Friday.
Following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death Sept. 18, Trump nominated Barrett to succeed Ginsburg.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Barrett will get a confirmation vote in the Senate, as Republicans push to get her on the nation’s highest court before the Nov. 3 presidential election. Restoring the court to nine justices could prove important if the election results in a dispute that the court would need to settle.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, after hearing Tillis and Lee had tested positive, said he intends to go forward with Barrett’s hearing as planned and senators will be allowed to join virtually if necessary.
“After being informed of [Lee’s] positive test, and out of an abundance of caution, I was tested for COVID-19 in South Carolina. I was informed I was negative,” Graham tweeted. “I feel fine and look forward to the hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Oct. 12.”
Lee and Tillis were among a number of people, including President Trump, who have tested positive after attending a mostly maskless Rose Garden ceremony last Saturday announcing Barrett’s nomination.