Going into Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, progressives made clear they wanted to see fire from Senate Democrats. Instead, led by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Democrats largely gave them pleasantries.

Some on the left called the hearings evidence that Feinstein should step down as the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. But others say the approach was exactly what the party needed in the middle of an election in which control of both the White House and Senate is at stake.

President Trump’s nominee to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ended the week on a glide path to be confirmed before the Nov. 3 election. The committee scheduled a vote for Oct. 22 to send her nomination to the full Senate. Barrett, who says she shares the judicial philosophy of former Justice Antonin Scalia, would shift the court to a 6-3 conservative majority likely to last years.

It was clear even before the hearings that there was almost nothing outnumbered Democrats could do to prevent the Senate from confirming Barrett. But progressives wanted Democrats — and especially Feinstein — to create fireworks in hopes of casting the GOP’s rapid timeline to seat Barrett as illegitimate, given Republicans’ refusal to let then-President Barack Obama fill a court opening before the 2016 election.

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