GOP Sen. Ron Johnson: 'I'll Go in a Moon Suit' to Confirm Barrett

Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) / Getty Images
October 5, 2020

Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) said he would vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court in a moon suit if necessary, testifying to the resolve of Senate Republicans to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat.

Johnson is one of three Republican senators who have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days.

"If we have to go in and vote, I've already told leadership, I'll go in in a moon suit," Johnson told Denver radio host Ross Kaminsky. "We think this is pretty important."

"People can be fairly confident that Mitch McConnell is dedicated to holding this vote," the senator added. Elsewhere in the interview, Johnson said that he feels normal and has not experienced any symptoms.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) sounded a similar note in a Sunday interview on Fox News.

"There is a long and venerable tradition of ill or medically infirm senators being wheeled in to cast critical votes on the Senate floor," Cotton said. He noted that Sen. Robert Byrd (D., W. Va.) was repeatedly brought to the chamber in a wheelchair to help pass the Affordable Care Act months before he died.

Two Republican lawmakers on the Judiciary Committee, Sens. Mike Lee (R., Utah) and Thom Tillis (R., N.C.), are also in quarantine after testing positive for the virus. That could trip up the committee process, since the rules require that a certain number of senators be present to advance a nomination, and Democrats have indicated they will not help Republicans meet that threshold.

One outside adviser proposed a creative workaround to the Washington Free Beacon, suggesting that the committee could convene in the Senate chamber. That would allow sick senators to cast votes from the gallery at a safe distance from their committee colleagues on the Senate floor.