As most of us are likely aware, Democrats are looking for any possible way they can delay the Senate taking up a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg so that the next president can decide who should be in the seat. But with the removal of the filibuster, there are no meaningful ways for the minority party to express dissent.

That said, Senate committee rules are fairly bureaucratic, and there are several prerequisites for the Senate Judiciary Committee to consider a judicial candidate. One of them requires that at least two members of the minority party (and at least seven of the majority) be present in order for the committee to conduct business. Democrats could simply not show up and thus delay the Committee's approval of the Supreme Court nominee.

Obviously, Republicans would not want that to occur, and as they have the majority, likely have the power to unilaterally change internal rules. But how difficult is it to do so?

  • afaik, all it takes is 51 votes, but traditionally, that's only been done on the first day of each new session.
    – dandavis
    Sep 21, 2020 at 18:47

1 Answer 1


That is assuming that the nomination has to go through the Judiciary committee which isn't true as that is something that was added in order to provide a screening process but not required. If they are unable to get enough members for a committee meeting there is nothing to stop them from just going straight to the full senate.


The committee's practice of personally interviewing nominees is relatively recent, beginning with Harlan Fiske Stone in 1925. Some western senators were concerned with his links to Wall Street and expressed their opposition when Stone was nominated. Stone proposed what was then the novelty of appearing before the Judiciary Committee to answer questions; his testimony helped secure a confirmation vote with very little opposition. The second nominee to appear before the Judiciary Committee was Felix Frankfurter, who only addressed (at the committee's request) what he considered to be slanderous allegations against him.[10] The modern practice of the committee questioning nominees on their judicial views began with the nomination of John Marshall Harlan II in 1955; the nomination came shortly after the Supreme Court handed down its landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, and several southern senators attempted to block Harlan's confirmation, hence the decision to testify.[1][8]

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .