US Supreme Court to begin new term Monday amid vacancy battle

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to begin its new term on Monday while the raging political battle over the vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wages on.

President Trump’s nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is still on track to fill the seat before the election, with the Senate planning to hold her confirmation hearing next week despite coronavirus diagnoses among White House staff.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ar., told Fox News on Sunday that there should be no interference in holding the hearing, even though Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is pushing to postpone it.

SCHUMER URGES MCCONNELL TO DELAY SUPREME COURT HEARING AMID CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK: ‘IT’S NOT SAFE’

“If it’s not safe for the Senate to meet in session, it’s not safe for the hearings to go forward,” Schumer said during a Sunday press conference.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., meets with Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Washington. (Bill Clark/Pool via AP)

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., meets with Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Washington. (Bill Clark/Pool via AP)

Democrats continue to criticize Republicans’ decision to fill the seat before the November general election, claiming hypocrisy after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held up the confirmation of Merrick Garland in 2016 following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Although Democrats can’t stop Judge Barrett’s confirmation, senators have prepared tactics to slow the process like impeaching the president, denying a quorum, or delaying the final committee vote.

HOW WOULD COURT PACKING WORK?

Court-packing has also been an ongoing and ominous threat from the left. Even though Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden refuses to acknowledge the possibility, other officials like Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., has publicly expressed the motion.

The move would expand the Supreme Court in the direction of the Democrats if Biden were elected to office. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the last sitting president to attempt packing the court in the 1930s, threatening to expand the bench to 15 justices.

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Fox News’ Megan Henney and Tyler Olson contributed to this report.

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