Durbin: The Senate Judiciary Committee Will Proceed With Previously-Scheduled Nominations Hearing on October 12

CHICAGO – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today released the following statement regarding the upcoming Committee schedule after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that the Senate will hold its next floor votes after November’s midterm elections:

“While the Senate will now be in recess, the Judiciary Committee will hold a previously-scheduled hearing on judicial nominations on Wednesday, October 12. 

“While it is my prerogative to set the Committee’s agenda – including its hearing calendar – I have endeavored to stay within the precedential bounds set by my predecessors. In this instance, by holding a hearing on a day that the Senate was originally scheduled to be in session, we are firmly within those precedential bounds.     

“We will go forward on October 12 with the important work of processing the Biden Administration’s outstanding judicial nominees—nominees who bring important professional and demographic diversity to the bench, who are committed to the rule of law, and who will be ready on day one to dispense justice fairly and impartially.”

In the 115th Congress under a Republican majority, the Committee held three nominations hearings on recess days—one in September 2017 and two in October 2018. All three fell on days when the Senate was originally slated to be in session. The October 12 hearing that Durbin has announced is no different. The Committee also held a hearing for then-Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court when the Senate was in recess in October 2020. Unlike with the hearings in the 115th Congress, Durbin will give members the opportunity to participate either in person or remotely on October 12. Those members who have returned home will still be able to question the nominees, just as they would if the hearing had proceeded on a session day.