With a vote of 52-48, the Senate with a Republican majority confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Monday, Oct. 26, to take a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) was the only one to break ranks with her party and voted against the nomination of Barrett.
Barrett is President Donald Trump’s third Supreme Court nomination. In 2017 and 2018 his two nominations, Dr. Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, were confirmed respectively.
After the Senate confirmation, the White House received the new justice for the swearing-in ceremony, which was presided over by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. President Trump said a few words before the swearing in.
The Democratic opposition in the Senate criticized Barrett’s nomination from the start, citing the proximity to the Nov. 3 presidential election.
When Obama was president in 2015, the Senate, also with a Republican majority, refused to hold the necessary hearings to nominate Judge Garland, who was selected by the then Democratic president. Based on this precedent, the Democrats criticized the decision of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to have conducted Barrett’s nomination so expeditiously and with little time before the election.
However, the decision whether or not to carry out the nomination lies with the power of the majority, just as the Democratic majority in Congress decided to carry out the impeachment of President Trump this year, despite the fact that from the outset, there was no evidence of wrongdoing and it was all based on a fabricated rumor.
With the new member, the Supreme Court has a 6-3 majority of conservative versus liberal justices. This has raised fears in the progressive political sector, since the Supreme Court has to decide on public health reforms (“Obamacare”) proposed by the Trump administration on Nov. 10.
Because of her professed Catholic faith, during the Senate hearings the Democrats questioned Judge Barrett to see if at some point she might seek to reverse the legalization of abortion and gay marriage.
Barrett denied that she had any agenda for her role on the court and promised to interpret the Constitution without prejudice.
She said, “I interpret the Constitution as a law, that I interpret its text as text, and I understand it to have the meaning that it had at the time people ratified it. So that meaning doesn’t change over time and it’s not up to me to update it or infuse my own policy views into it.”