President Donald Trump made history when he nominated former Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September. As Senator Lindsey Graham noted during the confirmation hearing, this is the first time in American history that a pro-life woman who “embraces her faith without apology” has been nominated to the high court.
Justice Barrett had served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since 2017. After a relatively smooth confirmation process, as opposed to Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted last Thursday to advance her nomination to the full Senate. The vote was unanimous, with Democrats refusing to vote.
By a vote of 52-48, the full Senate confirmed Justice Barrett. Republican Senator Susan Collins voted with the Democrats. She said she voted against confirmation because it’s an election year. She believes her fellow Republicans are being inconsistent. The Senate refused to consider the outgoing Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a distinction between the two events.
“Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary,” he said in September. “Once again, we will keep our promise.”
The high court now has a 6-3 majority. Justice Clarence Thomas swore in Justice Barrett.
Before the swearing in, President Trump said that Justice Barrett’s confirmation was a “momentous day for America, the United States Constitution, and for the fair and impartial rule of law.” The Constitution, he continued, is the “ultimate defense of American liberty. The faithful application of the law is the cornerstone of our Republic.”
President Trump said that Justice Barrett “is one of our nation’s most brilliant legal scholars. She will make an outstanding justice on the highest court in our land.” Justice Barrett is an originalist who “made clear she will issue rulings based on her faithful reading of the law and the Constitution as written, not legislation from the bench.”