Stopping Mitch McConnell from his latest SCOTUS power grab will take an act of providence even with three GOP senators sidelined by COVID-19 and Senate rules requiring an in-person vote to advance the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett and then confirm her before the election.
There is nothing McConnell won’t do to get Barrett on the Supreme Court. If senators infected with COVID can’t be in Washington, he could change the rules about in-person voting, just for SCOTUS nominations, the same way he deployed the so-called nuclear option to end the filibuster so he could confirm Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh with fewer than 60 votes.
“They (Senate Republicans) could nuke the phrase or re-interpret it for Supreme Court nominations. They’ll have to finagle their way around it,” says Sarah Binder, an expert on Senate rules with the Brookings Institution.