A week before the US election, the Senate confirms Judge Amy Coney Barret to the Supreme Court.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett has been confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate in a victory for President Donald Trump a week before the presidential election. There is now a 6-3 conservative majority in the US Supreme Court.
Barrett joins US Supreme Court
Amy Coney Barrett is the third justice to be appointed by Donald Trump following in the footsteps of Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. Donald Trump said: “This is a momentous day for America, for the United States constitution and for the fair and impartial rule of law. She is one of our nation’s most brilliant legal scholars and she will make an outstanding justice on the highest court in our land.”
Justice Barrett said afterwards: “A judge declares independence not only from the Congress and the president, but also from the private beliefs that might otherwise move her. The judicial oath captures the essence of the judicial duty: the rule of law must always control.” One of Justice Barrett’s first cases include a challenge to the Affordable Care Act, i.e. Obamacare, on 10 November. Soon after, the court must decide deadlines for postal ballots in states such as North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Joe Biden called the appointment “rushed and unprecedented” and that it was a “stark reminder to every American that your vote matters”. “While panicked and erratic in mishandling the pandemic, Donald Trump has been crystal clear on one thing for the past four years… he wants to tear down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety,” he added.
Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris said Justice Barrett’s confirmation was “a disgrace, not only because of what she will do when she gets on the bench, but because of the entire process”. Democrats argued that the election winner ought to choose the nominee for the Supreme Court. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday: “We don’t have any doubt, do we, that if the shoe was on the other foot, they’d be confirming. You can’t win them all, and elections have consequences.” Obama did exactly the same as Trump before the 2016 elections.
Many Democrats want to pack the court if they win the White House and control of the Senate next week. Joe Biden said he would appoint a commission on the matter should he win the election. On Monday night, self-described socialist New York congresswoman and Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted “Expand the court.”