Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the US Supreme Court late Monday. Judge Coney Barrett was installed into the Supreme Court just days before the election. Her seat will secure a likely conservative court majority for years to come.
Judge Barrett is 48, and her lifetime appointment as the 115th justice will solidify the court’s rightward tilt.
“This is a momentous day for America,” Trump said at a prime-time swearing-in event on the South Lawn at the White House.
Justice Clarence Thomas administered the Constitutional Oath to Barrett before a crowd of about 200. Judge Barrett will be able to participate in the court after taking the judicial oath administered by Chief Justice John Roberts in a private ceremony at the court Tuesday.
Barrett told those gathered that she learned through the “rigorous confirmation” that “it is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences.” She vowed, “I will do my job without any fear or favor.”
Judge Barrette confirmed days before election
The vote was 52-48, and Vice President Pence’s vote was not necessary. Only one Republican — Sen. Susan Collins, who is in a tight reelection fight in Maine — voted against the nominee. Collins said, “I do not think it is fair nor consistent to have a Senate confirmation vote prior to the election.”
“Voting to confirm this nominee should make every single senator proud,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, fending off “outlandish” criticism in a lengthy speech.
Meanwhile, several matters are awaiting decision just a week before Election Day, and Barrett could be a decisive vote in Republican appeals of orders extending the deadlines for absentee ballots in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
President Trump has said he wanted to swiftly install a ninth justice to resolve election disputes and is hopeful the justices will end the health law known as “Obamacare.”
During several days of public testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barrett was careful not to disclose how she would rule on any such cases. She presented herself as a neutral arbiter and suggested, “It’s not the law of Amy.” But her writings against abortion and a ruling on “Obamacare” show a deeply conservative thinker.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, praised Amy Coney Barrett mother of seven as a role model for conservative women. “This is historic,” Graham said. – AP