Days before US elections, Trump's pick confirmed to Supreme Court
US President Donald Trump was served a crucial victory, merely days before the November 3 elections, as Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice. The Senate voted 52-48 on Monday, adding weight to the SC's conservative side, as they enjoy a 6-3 majority now. A beaming Trump described Barrett's confirmation as a "momentous day for America." Here's more.
The senators were divided across party lines, and only one Republican chose to not vote for Barrett. Susan Collins of Maine was opposed to the confirmation so close to the highly-anticipated polls. A seat at the SC became vacant after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who held the liberal camp for 27 years, died on September 18. Democrats wanted a confirmation after polls.
The 48-year-old is the 115th Justice of the Supreme Court and only the fifth woman to be a part of the bench. Her confirmation will decide the future of the Affordable Care Act and abortion rights, among other things. A week after elections, the SC will hear arguments on ACA, also widely known as Obamacare. Trump wants the law to be declared invalid.
Moreover, Trump also wants his picks — three of his nominations are confirmed to SC — to overturn the 1973 Roe v/s Wade ruling, a landmark judgment that legalized abortion rights across the US. Trump's push for Barrett's confirmation also stems from his concerns that the polls will not announce a clear winner and the SC will have to step in, like in 2000.
The SC is also expected to be inundated with plenty of voting-related cases in the days to come. In the lower courts of North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin major voting disputes have already been filed. Barrett, who will now remain an SC judge for life, assured the American people she would discharge her duties to the best of her ability.
"A judge declares independence not only from 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," Barrett said.
Barrett was administered the constitutional oath by SC Justice Clarence Thomas and on Tuesday, Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the judicial oath at the Supreme Court. As he stood next to Barrett at the White House's South Lawn, Trump said, "This is a momentous day for America, for the United States Constitution and for the fair and impartial rule of law."
While Trump and a majority of Republicans rejoiced at the conservative tilt in the SC, Democrats fumed, saying the former snatched power in a hypocritical manner. Kamala Harris, the Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee, said, "Today Republicans denied the will of the American people by confirming a Supreme Court justice through an illegitimate process." And Senator Bernie Sanders said Barrett's confirmation is a disgrace.