US Senate Republicans voted Monday night to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, tilting the balance of the court to a 6-3 conservative majority for years to come and handing US President Donald Trump a victory barely a week before the election.
Every Republican but one, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, voted to confirm Barrett. Every Democrat voted no. The final tally was 52 to 48.
The White House planned to hold a large outdoor event later Monday night to celebrate Barrett’s confirmation, despite a previous White House event for Barrett triggering a coronavirus outbreak among attendees. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas reportedly will administer the constitutional oath to Barrett at the event.
Barrett’s confirmation ends a weekslong dash by Republicans to put her on the court before the Nov. 3 election, in the event Trump loses reelection and leaves a potential President Joe Biden better positioned to fill the seat in 2021. Barrett, 48, will fill the seat left vacant by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September.
Democrats protested the rushed process, calling it a “sham” and boycotting Barrett’s vote out of the Judiciary Committee. They criticized Republicans for the hypocrisy of filling a Supreme Court seat in a presidential election year after they denied President Barack Obama the ability to do so. They warned that Barrett is a threat to the Affordable Care Act and highlighted her record of hostility to the health care law, women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights. But they never had the votes to stop her confirmation.
Ahead of the vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Democrats’ complaints about the process were unfounded.
“You can’t win ’em all,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “Elections have consequences.”
“What this administration and this Republican Senate has done is exercise a power that was given to us by the American people in a manner that is entirely within the rules of the Senate and the...