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Conservative judicial group assembles team of lawyers to bolster Barrett confirmation

GOP continues to plan confirmation hearing
Republicans press forward with Supreme Court confirmation despite COVID cases 06:10

Washington — The Article III Project, a conservative judicial group, is rolling out a coalition of lawyers to throw their weight behind the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court as the Senate prepares to begin the confirmation process next week.

The legal advisory board includes 14 lawyers and one legal fellow who will assist in the battle to confirm Barrett, 48, to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the high court. The group includes legal professionals with experience working in the executive branch and on Capitol Hill, as well as others in private practice.

"President Trump is going to transform the 5-4 John Roberts Court to the 6-3 Clarence Thomas Court. For that reason, the left will stop at nothing to derail this confirmation, like they attempted successfully with Judge Robert Bork and unsuccessfully with Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh," Mike Davis, Article III Project founder and president, said in a statement. "A3P has assembled a battle-tested team of sharp, aggressive legal professionals who will help us do whatever it takes to push Judge Barrett's nomination over the finish line by the end of October."

Davis served as chief counsel for nominations to former Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, and helped lead the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.

Mr. Trump nominated Barrett, a judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to the Supreme Court late last month. The event at the White House where Barrett was announced as the president's pick to fill Ginsburg's seat has since come under scrutiny as a number of its attendees, including Mr. Trump, Republican Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, have tested positive for COVID-19.

The spread of the infection among White House aides and three senators led Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to postpone scheduled floor activity until October 19. But Barrett's confirmation process is expected to continue as planned.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will convene for Barrett's confirmation hearing Monday, and it's expected to last four days.

Barrett's confirmation process is likely to be a fierce political battle, as her appointment to the Supreme Court will further cement its conservative majority. The fight is set against the backdrop of the 2016 nomination of Judge Merrick Garland by then-President Barack Obama, which the GOP-controlled Senate blocked as they argued the voters should have a voice in who filled the vacant seat.

Democrats now say their Republican colleagues should abide by the rules they laid out four years ago and allow the American people to have a say in which president fills Ginsburg's seat. They also have cast her nomination as illegitimate and warn that if confirmed, Barrett will vote to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, a challenge to which the Supreme Court is set to hear November 10.

But Republicans argue that unlike in 2016, the same party controls the Senate and the White House, which does not preclude them from moving to confirm Barrett to the Supreme Court.  

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