Washington: The US Senate Judiciary Committee announced on Tuesday that it would open a confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, on October 12.
This is as per schedule despite President Trump, Justice Amy Coney Barrett and several members of the president’s inner circle testing positive for COVID-19.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, the committee’s chairman, announced that the hearing would start at 9am EDT (13:00 GMT) on October 12.
Opening the Senate on Monday, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the hearing would be in a hybrid format – with some members connecting remotely – because of the pandemic.
Two committee members, Republicans Thom Tillis and Mike Lee, tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days.
Both were at the White House on September 26 when Trump introduced Barrett as his nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last month.
Other attendees at that event, many of whom did not wear face masks, have also tested positive.
Despite the objections of Democrats, who want to wait for the results of the November 3 election before the nomination of a new Supreme Court justice, Republicans, who control the Senate, have been working to confirm Ginsburg’s replacement before voters go to the polls.
After McConnell spoke, Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said the Senate should be debating legislation to help Americans struggling with the coronavirus.