President Trump announced this weekend he's nominating Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said Sunday that the committee will approve the nomination to the Supreme Court on October 22, setting up a full Senate vote to send her to the high court by the end of the month.
"So, we'll start on October 12, and more than half of the Supreme Court justices who have had hearings were done within 16 days or less," Graham said on Fox News. "We'll have a day of introduction. We'll have two days of questioning, Tuesday and Wednesday, and on the 15th we'll begin to markup, we'll hold it over for a week, and we'll report her nomination out of the committee on October 22."
"Then it will be up to (Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell as to what to do with the nomination once it comes out of committee," the South Carolina Republican said.
The push to confirm a Supreme Court justice ahead of the election would put the Senate on track for one of the quickest confirmations in modern history. No Supreme Court nominee has ever been confirmed after the month of July during a presidential election year.
Barrett, whom the President described as a having "unyielding loyalty to the Constitution" and a person who would rule "based solely on the fair reading of the law," has been staunchly opposed by Democrats, who say her confirmation could jeopardize a number of things, including the Affordable Care Act and the landmark case Roe v. Wade.
The stakes in the fight over the vacancy are immense and come at a pivotal time in American politics. Trump's ability to appoint a new justice to the court would mark the third of his tenure in office and would create the opportunity to push the court in an even more conservative direction for decades to come.