On Mon, Oct. 26, the Senate confirmed Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, only eight days before Election Day, making it the closest successful confirmation to a Presidential election in American history. At the time of Barrett’s confirmation, over 60 million voters had already cast their ballots. Her swearing-in creates a 6-3 conservative majority on the court – the most conservative the it has been in 70 years.
President Trump nominated Barrett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2017. After Barrett’s 11 months on the federal judiciary, Trump nominated her to replace the late liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
Leading Democrats have criticized President Trump’s rapid nomination, calling the decision hypocritical and pointing to the fact that Senate Republicans refused to accept President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016 – nine months before the end of Obama’s last term in office.
Barrett’s nomination and eventual confirmation was supported by conservative. Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, swore in Barrett with President Trump present on the South Lawn of the White House.
Barrett vowed to set aside her personal and political biases in the name of upholding the Constitution, stating, “The oath that I have solemnly taken tonight means at its core that I will do my job without any fear or favor and that I will do so independently of both the political branches and of my own preferences.”
President Trump addressed Barrett at the ceremony, commenting, “The American people put their trust in you and their faith in you as you take up the task of defending our laws, our Constitution and this country we all love.
In response to Barrett’s confirmation, Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris tweeted,“Republicans denied the will of the American people by confirming a Supreme Court Justice through an illegitimate process.”
Harris went on to state, “Voting rights are now in jeopardy. Workers’ rights are now in jeopardy. LGBTQ equality is now in jeopardy. The right to a safe and legal abortion is now in jeopardy. The ability to address a changing climate is now in jeopardy. And so much more. We will not forget this.”
At the conclusion of the swearing-in ceremony Barrett said, “It’s a privilege to be asked to serve my country in this office and I stand here tonight truly honored and humbled.”
(Sources: CNN, Washington Post, NPR, FiveThirtyEight, New York Times)