(Reuters) - U.S. appeals judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s third nominee to the Supreme Court, will face a series of informal and formal meetings with the Republican-controlled Senate, which has the power to install her in the lifetime role.
Trump wants Barrett seated before the Nov. 3 election. That leaves little time for the Senate to fulfill its role and confirm the new justice. Here is a breakdown of what’s next:
INFORMAL MEETINGS ON CAPITOL HILL
Barrett as early as Tuesday is expected to begin informal meetings with senators on Capitol Hill, starting with Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
This process generated controversy in 2017 when Senator Richard Blumenthal revealed that Trump’s nominee at the time, now-Justice Neil Gorsuch, had called Trump’s criticisms of the judiciary “demoralizing.”
ACTION MOVES TO SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham, is charged with investigating the background and qualifications of any nominee.
Barrett will answer a questionnaire about her background, professional career and finances. That is followed by a public hearing and finally a vote by the committee to send the nomination to the full Senate.
FBI AND ABA INVESTIGATIONS
The Federal Bureau of Investigation will complete its own investigation and share its findings with the Judiciary Committee. The American Bar Association, a national nonpartisan lawyers’ group, will also evaluate Barrett and deliver a rating on whether she is qualified to sit on the high court.
The Judiciary Committee’s public hearings, which last several days, are a highly anticipated event for every Supreme Court nominee, during which the public gets to hear the candidate in her own words answer questions from senators, typically related to judicial philosophy and often the nominee’s opinions on hot-button social issues like abortion.
The hearings are due to start Oct. 12, multiple U.S. media outlets reported, citing Republican Senate sources.
Recent nominees have typically kept those views close to their chests. Senators often follow up the testimony with further questions posed to the nominee in writing.
Since Senate Republicans in 2017 eliminated for Supreme Court nominations a procedural tactic often used by the minority party to hold up a vote, called the filibuster, a simple majority of the 100 members must vote to confirm. That appears likely given Republicans have a 53-47 majority and only two Republican senators have publicly opposed Trump’s bid to fill the seat.
Historically, the average number of days from nomination to final Senate vote is around 70, according to the Congressional Research Service. The time from Ginsburg’s nomination to confirmation, however, was just 42 days.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.