What Senate’s 50-50 Split Means for Biden Supreme Court Pick
3. Could Democrats work around a boycott?
They certainly could try. If, say, Democrats voted to advance the nomination out of committee while Republicans were gone, Republicans could object on the floor that Senate rules weren’t followed. Even if the current parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, sides with Republicans that half the committee doesn’t constitute a majority, a unified Democratic caucus and Harris could overrule her. James Wallner, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute and an expert on Senate rules, said he would expect Democrats to win the argument in the end. “The nominee’s already on the floor at that point, and I suspect that it would be easily disposed of, where the Democrats do have the majority,” he said.