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Senate Democrats' leader Schumer slams idea of virtual hearing for SCOTUS pick – but not all the other virtual Senate hearings

Senate Democrats' leader Schumer slams idea of virtual hearing for SCOTUS pick – but not all the other virtual Senate hearings
"A virtual hearing is virtually no hearing at all," the New York Senator says, suggesting the decision on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett should be postponed, despite Senate already using the practice throughout pandemic.

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

The Senate has already cancelled meetings this week due to several senators, including two on the judiciary committee, revealing they are positive for Covid-19. 

The idea of virtual hearings has been suggested, but Democrats have been resistant to the idea when it comes to Coney Barrett, including Schumer. 

A virtual hearing is virtually no hearing at all. You need to be with the witness and have direct cross questions, and back and forth with them.

The Senator minority leader promised that if hearings went forward as scheduled on October 12, Democrats will use “every tool in the toolbox to delay and not have the votes occur.”

Since the Senate has already held virtual hearings during the pandemic and various businesses and schools are running virtually because of various state shutdowns, Schumer’s line of logic has been the subject of scrutiny with critics.

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“‘A virtual hearing is virtually no hearing at all’ would certainly be news to the Senate Democrats who have participated in *21* virtual judiciary committee hearings throughout the pandemic,” Republican Senatorial Committee senior advisor Matt Whitlock tweeted in response to Schumer. 

“Virtual hearings rob Schumer and the left of the protest spectacle of barnstorming into elevators and Code Pink screaming and dragged from the room. That's all this is about,” writer Stephen Miller added. 

Other Democratic senators also pushed back against the idea of virtual hearings on Sunday, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) who, despite previously praising Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) for putting together a virtual hearing in May, said the Coney Barrett situation is different because “you want to be able to go back and forth with this nominee given her views” on issues like the Affordable Care Act.

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