Washington— Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) today released the following statement in response to Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) committing to a hearing schedule for the Supreme Court vacancy amid recent positive coronavirus test:
“It is premature for Chairman Graham to commit to a hearing schedule when we do not know the full extent of potential exposure stemming from the president’s infection and before the White House puts in place a contact tracing plan to prevent further spread of the disease.
"The unfortunate news about the infection of our colleague Senator Mike Lee makes even more clear that health and safety must guide the schedule for all Senate activities, including hearings.
"In addition, there is bipartisan agreement that a virtual confirmation hearing for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench is not an acceptable substitute. All circuit court nominees have appeared in person during the pandemic, and there is far more at stake for the American people with this Supreme Court nomination, including the Affordable Care Act being struck down and more than 7 million COVID survivors being denied health coverage.
"It’s critical that Chairman Graham put the health of senators, the nominee and staff first – and ensure a full and fair hearing that is not rushed, not truncated, and not virtual. Otherwise this already illegitimate process will become a dangerous one.”