Conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett has been sworn in to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court after the Republican-led Senate voted 52 to 48 to confirm her. For the first time in 151 years, a Supreme Court nominee was confirmed without a single vote from the minority party. On Monday night, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas swore Barrett in to her lifetime seat.
Justice Amy Coney Barrett: “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.”
Hundreds attended the White House ceremony despite a new COVID-19 outbreak that has infected at least five aides of Vice President Mike Pence.
Justice Coney Barrett is President Trump’s third appointee to the Supreme Court and gives the court a 6-3 conservative majority. Democrats slammed Republicans for ramming through the confirmation at a time when tens of millions of votes have already been cast in the election. Republicans confirmed Barrett just eight days before the election. In 2016, Republicans refused to hold hearings for President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, nearly eight months before the election. This is Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Sen. Chuck Schumer: “Today, Monday, October 26, 2020, will go down as one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate. Let the record show that tonight the Republican Senate majority decided to thwart the will of the people and confirm a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court in the middle of a presidential election, after more than 60 million Americans have voted.”
Amy Coney Barrett’s impact on the court could be felt immediately. Later this week, the Supreme Court will consider whether to hear a key Mississippi abortion case that could challenge Roe v. Wade. And the court is set to hear arguments in a case that could scrap the Affordable Care Act on November 10, one week after Election Day. Coney Barrett will also join justices in a high-profile case about whether Trump must turn over his tax records, as well as in deciding key voting rights cases in the coming days, including Democratic efforts to extend the deadline for counting mail-in ballots in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.