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Senate confirms Trump's Supreme Court nominee a week ahead of Election Day

Senate Republicans voted to confirm President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Judge...

Posted: Oct 26, 2020 6:23 AM
Updated: Oct 26, 2020 9:30 PM

Senate Republicans voted to confirm President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Monday, a major victory for the President and his party just days before November 3, that could push the high court in a more conservative direction for generations to come.

The vote was 52-48. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is in a tough reelection fight, was the only GOP senator to cross party lines and vote with Democrats against the nomination after having expressed concerns that it's too close to Election Day to consider a nominee.

Trump's appointment of a new Supreme Court justice marks the third of his tenure in office, giving Republicans a historic opportunity to deliver on the key conservative priority and campaign promise of transforming the federal courts through lifetime appointments.

Barrett was sworn in later Monday night as a Supreme Court justice at a ceremony on the south lawn of the White House. A number of Republican senators were seen in the audience including Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, James Lankford of Oklahoma and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Monday night's event, which featured visible social distancing measures, stood in sharp contrast to Barrett's nomination announcement, which has been labeled by public health experts as a coronavirus superspreader event.

Barrett, who is 48 years old, is likely to serve on the court for decades and will give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court, a shift in its makeup that could have dramatic implications for a range of issues that could come before it, including the future of the Affordable Care Act and any potential disputes regarding the 2020 election.

Senate Republicans, who hold a majority in the chamber, pushed ahead with one of the quickest nomination proceedings in modern times following the death of the late Justice and liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month.

They moved to confirm Barrett over the objections of Democrats who have argued that the process has been a rushed and cynical power grab that threatens to undermine Ginsburg's legacy.

'By any objective standard, Judge Barrett deserves to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. The American people agree. In just a few minutes, she'll be on the Supreme Court,' Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said ahead of the final confirmation vote.

Justice Clarence Thomas will administer the official Constitutional Oath to Barrett at the White House, a senior White House official told CNN.

The confirmation battle has played out in a bitterly-divided Senate, but the outcome has not been in question for much of the fight. With few exceptions, Senate Republicans quickly lined up in support of Barrett after her nomination by President Trump, while Democrats united in opposition.

Two Republican senators crossed party lines to vote with Democrats in opposition to a key procedural vote on Sunday -- Collins and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Murkowski announced that she would ultimately vote to confirm Barrett in the final vote, but said that she would vote against the procedural vote after having previously voiced opposition to taking up a nominee to fill the open seat so close to the election.

Senate Republicans largely rallied around the nomination, however, praising Barrett as exceedingly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. Republicans, who have a 53-seat majority, only need 51 votes to confirm a new justice.

Senate Democrats, in contrast, have decried the nomination and the confirmation process.

Democrats have warned that Barrett's confirmation will put health care protections and the Affordable Care Act in jeopardy. They have argued that the confirmation process has been rushed and accused Republicans of hypocrisy in moving ahead with the nomination after blocking consideration of former President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in 2016.

'The Republican Party is willing to ignore the pandemic to rush this Supreme Court nomination forward,' Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a floor speech on Sunday.

Democrats, who are in the minority, have been limited in their ability to oppose the nomination, but have protested the process in a variety of ways.

When the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance the nomination, Democratic senators on the panel boycotted the vote, filling their seats instead with pictures of people who rely upon the Affordable Care Act in an effort to draw attention to an upcoming case on the health care law's constitutionality and their arguments that Barrett's confirmation would put the law at risk.

During confirmation hearings, Democrats sought to elicit answers from Barrett on a number of controversial topics the Supreme Court could take up. Barrett repeatedly declined, however, to specify how she might rule on a range of topics, from the Affordable Care Act to Roe v. Wade and the high court's ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

Barrett explained during the hearings that she shared a philosophy with the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, whom she clerked for, but argued she would not be an identical justice if she is confirmed.

'If I'm confirmed, you would not be getting Justice Scalia. You would be getting Justice Barrett,' she said. 'And that's so because originalists don't always agree.'

This story has been updated with additional developments Monday.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 318763

Reported Deaths: 3652
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin673361116
Ramsey28256505
Anoka22583228
Dakota22414190
Washington14207116
Stearns13976117
St. Louis8991112
Scott859755
Wright795543
Olmsted681134
Sherburne601541
Clay508957
Carver486215
Kandiyohi420522
Rice419237
Blue Earth418016
Crow Wing364034
Otter Tail321723
Chisago315612
Nobles309930
Benton305751
Winona284830
Douglas266837
Mower265823
Polk261224
Morrison233829
Lyon223011
Beltrami219218
McLeod217914
Becker209416
Goodhue208428
Steele19917
Isanti194217
Itasca193923
Carlton191316
Todd182514
Nicollet164026
Mille Lacs157031
Freeborn15546
Le Sueur148811
Cass146010
Brown145715
Waseca139811
Pine13958
Meeker13289
Roseau12194
Martin117420
Hubbard115725
Wabasha10781
Redwood97919
Chippewa9147
Cottonwood8964
Renville89529
Dodge8700
Watonwan8634
Wadena8156
Sibley8004
Rock7889
Aitkin77830
Pipestone74118
Fillmore7240
Houston7134
Yellow Medicine66512
Pennington6638
Kanabec62713
Swift5998
Murray5953
Faribault5732
Pope5531
Clearwater5268
Stevens5243
Marshall5059
Jackson4961
Lake4326
Koochiching3996
Wilkin3925
Lac qui Parle3863
Unassigned38559
Lincoln3651
Norman3537
Big Stone3242
Mahnomen3044
Grant2806
Kittson2298
Red Lake2163
Traverse1491
Lake of the Woods1011
Cook770

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 229327

Reported Deaths: 2395
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33896336
Linn14340166
Scott1132587
Black Hawk10968137
Woodbury10428129
Johnson964137
Dubuque927491
Story684522
Pottawattamie644070
Dallas641757
Sioux372725
Webster363936
Cerro Gordo359046
Marshall351246
Clinton333844
Buena Vista307314
Muscatine293469
Des Moines291620
Warren283214
Plymouth277142
Wapello257372
Jones233615
Jasper224344
Marion206821
Lee205017
Carroll199922
Bremer196712
Henry18417
Crawford176916
Benton171821
Tama154940
Jackson146513
Washington146215
Delaware144921
Dickinson140311
Boone138311
Mahaska127927
Wright12706
Clay11924
Buchanan118510
Hardin116510
Page11524
Hamilton11429
Clayton11238
Cedar109313
Harrison108630
Kossuth10847
Calhoun10757
Mills10647
Floyd106216
Fayette105610
Lyon10538
Butler10266
Poweshiek99713
Winneshiek98413
Iowa97612
Winnebago93124
Cherokee9014
Hancock8737
Sac8738
Grundy87111
Louisa86818
Chickasaw8664
Allamakee82811
Cass81823
Mitchell8035
Appanoose79912
Humboldt7855
Union7796
Shelby77311
Emmet76824
Guthrie76315
Franklin74321
Jefferson7252
Unassigned6950
Madison6924
Palo Alto6574
Keokuk6157
Pocahontas5644
Howard5619
Osceola5341
Greene5310
Ida50013
Clarke4904
Davis4739
Montgomery47011
Taylor4673
Monroe44712
Adair4418
Monona4402
Worth3690
Fremont3663
Van Buren3615
Lucas3296
Decatur3200
Wayne3027
Audubon3002
Ringgold2202
Adams1712
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