The final vote for the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett is set to take place on Monday, after the Senate voted 51-48 in a weekend session to limit debate on the judge’s nomination.
The historic confirmation of Barrett could come as soon as Monday, marking a major victory for conservatives and President Trump ahead of the election.
“Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is a stellar nominee in every single respect,” Senate Majority Leader McConnell said on the Senate floor following the vote. “Her intellectual brilliance is unquestioned. Her command of the law is remarkable. Her integrity is above reproach.”
Senate Democrats renewed their opposition on Twitter prior to the procedural vote on Barrett’s confirmation.
All Democrats are expected to vote against Barrett’s nomination, joined by one Republican, Susan Collins from Maine.
Collins has said she will vote against Barrett’s final confirmation, saying it’s too close to the Nov. 3 election.
The only other Republican that previously remained in question – Lisa Murkowski – confirmed that she will support the nomination of Barrett.
“I believe that the only way to put us back on the path of appropriate consideration of judicial nominees is to evaluate Judge Barrett as we would want to be judged—on the merits of her qualifications,” Murkowski said on the Senate floor on Oct. 24. “And we do that when that final question comes before us. And when it does, I will be a yes.”
Republicans only need 51 votes to confirm a new justice, meaning that with a 53-member majority, the GOP can afford to lose up to three Republicans, with Vice President Mike Pence able to cast the tie-breaking vote if a 50-50 split occurs. Pence’s vote isn’t expected to be required as Sen. Mitt Romney has repeatedly said he would confirm Barrett.
Democrats fear that with the appointment of Barrett to the courts will finally put an end to Obamacare – allowing for President Trump to replace it with a more effective plan of his own.
Barrett has not indicated to anyone how she might rule if given the opportunity to sit on the court when oral arguments are presented over the future of the ACA in November. She has criticized the 2012 Supreme Court opinion that upheld the law by deeming the penalty attached to the individual mandate to be a tax. Despite this, Barrett pointed out that the current case hinges on separate issues.
Last week, when the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Oct. 22 to advance Barrett’s nomination to the full chamber, Democrat senators boycotted the vote.
Trump has already successfully nominated two other justices, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch. If Barrett is confirmed, it would give conservatives a 6–3 majority in the top court.
Refusing to accept the results – Democrats have threatened to pack the courts in retaliation. An unprecedented move that would likely be considered unconstitutional.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said last week said that if elected he would form a bipartisan commission that would have the power to go far beyond court-packing, apparently aiming to entirely disregard our constitution.