The Halloween scare we didn’t expect arrived early. Only one month after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, the Senate voted almost entirely along party lines to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.
In a White House ceremony on Monday evening, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the constitutional oath to Amy Coney Barrett.
President Trump spoke at the event, thanking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and calling Monday a “momentous day” for America, the constitution and the rule of law. He also praised Barrett’s intellect and poise during the confirmation process. Several Republican senators were also in attendance.
While Senate Democrats attempted to slow down the confirmation process of Donald Trump’s third Supreme Court nominee with various procedural maneuvers, the fact that Republicans control the Senate has always meant a Barrett confirmation was all but promised.
These are contentious times, and during the hearing Democratic senators asked Barrett whether she would commit to recuse from cases related to the 2020 election, due to the appearance of impropriety created by Trump’s comments. Barrett, however, would only offer a vague promise of “fully and faithfully applying the law of recusal if asked to sit out an election case.”
Immediately after joining the Court, Barrett will confront cases that seek to move the law dramatically to the right often relying on arguments that even many leading conservatives view as ridiculous.
With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) set to become one of the first cases the Supreme Court will hear with Judge Barrett on the Court, which threatens to take away coverage of preexisting conditions for millions of Americans in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, many are feeling terrified, angry, and anxious for what’s to come with a majority conservative court. See the Twitter reactions to Coney Barrett’s SCOTUS confirmation as associate justice, below:
In his speech on the Senate floor ahead of the vote on Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer excoriated Republicans for pushing the vote through ahead of Election Day. He hinted that he may support ideas such as adding justices to the Supreme Court if Democrats take the majority next year.
“You may win this vote. And Amy Coney Barrett may become the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. But you will never get your credibility back, “And the next time the American people give Democrats a majority in this chamber, you will have forfeited your right to tell us how to run that majority.” said Schumer.
Jessica Velle is writer from Los Angeles, CA. She focuses on shining a light on culturally diverse stories.