Amy Coney Barrett takes oath as Supreme Court justice, as GOP celebrates 6-3 conservative majority

Written by on October 26, 2020


Amy Coney Barrett is Donald Trump’s third Supreme Court docket nominee, following Affiliate Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch. Wochit

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump held a hasty swearing-in ceremony Monday evening following the Senate’s affirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, who will develop into the 115th justice to serve on the Supreme Court docket Tuesday and instantly get to work.

Simply as Senate Republicans whisked Barrett, 48, by means of the affirmation course of in a month, Trump rushed again from the marketing campaign path in Pennsylvania for aceremony on the South Garden of the White Home in the midst of a global pandemic.

The occasion passed off close to the Rose Backyard, the place a month earlier the federal appeals courtroom decide from Indiana was launched in a crowded settingthat contributed to the spread of COVID-19, each on the White Home and within the Senate.

Affiliate Justice Clarence Thomas, the longest-serving member of the present courtroom, delivered the constitutional oath of workplace. Many of the assembled visitors wore masks. On Tuesday, Chief Justice John Roberts will full the method by delivering the judicial oath to the courtroom’s latest member.

The ceremony adopted the Senate’s 52-48 affirmation vote shortly after eight p.m., the place Majority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., known as Barrett “a girl of unparalleled means and temperament.”

“I stand right here tonight actually honored and humbled,” Barrett stated through the 15-minuteevent, flags draping the White Home behind her. “This was a rigorous affirmation course of.”

As she did throughout her affirmation listening to earlier this month, Barrett tried to distance herself and the judiciary from the politics swirling round her nomination and the presidential election.

“It’s the job of a decide to withstand her coverage preferences. It might be a dereliction of obligation for her to offer in to them,” she stated.

As soon as she takes the judicial oath Tuesday from Roberts, Barrett will develop into the fifth girl ever to serve on the excessive courtroom, succeeding the late liberal Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She’s going to start work per week earlier than Election Day, take part in her first convention with the opposite justices Friday, and take her place on the bench for oral arguments subsequent Monday.

That’s as Trump needed. All through the affirmation course of, the president had emphasized the importance of getting Barrett because the ninth Supreme Court docket justice to assist determine challenges involving mail-in ballots and different voting procedures.

“It is a momentous day for America, for the USA Structure, and for the honest and neutral rule of regulation,” Trump stated. Barrett, he stated, “is certainly one of our nation’s most good authorized students.”

The election will likely be Barrett’s first and most vital focus: Petitions difficult voting procedures in Pennsylvania and North Carolina are pending earlier than the excessive courtroom, which dominated 5-Three alongside ideological traces Monday evening against extending Wisconsin’s deadline for absentee ballots.

The Pennsylvania dispute returned to the Supreme Court docket after the justices deadlocked 4-Four final week, leaving in place a Nov. 6 deadline for the receipt of mail-in ballots that Republicans need modified to Nov. 3.

It is common for justices to be sworn in throughout Supreme Court docket phrases, reasonably than over the summer season recess. Trump’s first two nominees additionally hit the bottom working: Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch started in April 2017 when the courtroom was finishing oral arguments for that time period, and Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh began in October 2018 after a brand new time period had simply begun.

Like Barrett, Kavanaugh was sworn in simply hours after the Senate’s 50-48 affirmation vote. Trump congratulated him on Twitter and signed his fee to the Supreme Court docket aboard Air Power One so Kavanaugh might get to work instantly.

Barrett’s elevation to a lifetime seat on the nation’s highest courtroom has been just as controversial because the others, each for partisan and ideological causes. It represents the fruits of conservatives’ decades-long venture to win management of the Supreme Court docket, maybe for many years to come back.

Republicans engineered the method by blocking President Barack Obama from filling conservative Affiliate Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat within the final 12 months of his presidency, then permitting Trump to fill Ginsburg’s seat whereas going through an uphill re-election battle.

Extra: Pack the court? Battles between Republicans and Democrats fuel clash over Supreme Court’s future

Ginsburg, the chief of the courtroom’s liberal wing who had develop into a cultural icon in her 80s, died Sept. 18 after battling pancreatic most cancers. Democrats instantly cited McConnell’s 2016 refusal to behave on Obama’s nominee as cause to delay motion till after the election, to no avail.

The president took benefit of the state of affairs by nominating Barrett, one of many nation’s most conservative federal courtroom judges, who he had positioned on the U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the seventh Circuit in 2017. Barrett vocally opposed the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide earlier than changing into a decide, wrote a dissenting opinion on the seventh Circuit defending nonviolent felons’ proper to personal firearms, and criticized Roberts’ prior rulings upholding the Inexpensive Care Act in scholarly writings, additionally earlier than changing into a decide.

Extra: Amy Coney Barrett: Talented judge, popular professor brings solid conservative credentials

She is very regarded in authorized circles, together with by some distinguished liberals, for her scholarly background as a Notre Dame Law School professor. She is an acolyte of Scalia, for whom she clerked within the 1990s, and a proponent of decoding the Structure and federal statutes as written.

Barrett sailed by means of her Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this month, deftly refusing to reply much more questions than her predecessors did concerning Supreme Court docket precedents and points that might come to the courtroom sooner or later. All 12 Republicans voted to ship her nomination to the Senate flooring; all 10 Democrats boycotted the vote. 

Because the Senate ready to vote Monday evening, Minority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., issued a warning.

“The American individuals will always remember this blatant act of unhealthy religion,” Schumer stated. “It’s going to go down as one of many darkest days within the 231-year historical past of the USA Senate.”


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