Senate likely to confirm Trump nominee Barrett as Supreme Court justice
WASHINGTON (US) – President Donald Trump nominee to the Supreme Court Amy Coney Barrett is slated to be confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate on Monday as the next justice. This move will shift the court to the right for years to come.
No nominee has been confirmed by the Senate this close to a presidential election with more than 58 million ballots already cast.
The rush to confirm Barrett, 48, has bitterly divided Democrats and Republicans, who are expected to split along party lines on the final vote. Trump has said repeatedly he wants her in place to vote on any election-related cases that go to the court.
With Republicans controlling the chamber 53-47 and no indication of an internal revolt against the conservative appeals court judge succeeding liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Barrett looks almost certain to take up a lifetime appointment on the bench over universal Democratic opposition.
Several Republicans who previously expressed concerns about rushing the process, including Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski, are expected to approve Barrett’s nomination.
Senate Democrats and some Republicans expressed unease at the possibility that Vice President Mike Pence, several of whose close aides have tested positive for COVID-19, might attend Monday’s vote.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Pence “reportedly intends to come” to the Senate chamber to preside over the final vote, and blasted him for being willing to put “the health of everyone who works in this building at risk.”
With Barrett confirmed, the Supreme Court will have a solid 6-3 conservative majority.
Barrett is expected to participate in a crucial hearing on Nov. 10, where Trump and his fellow Republicans will ask the court to strike down the Affordable Care Act. The 2010 healthcare law, popularly known as Obamacare, has helped millions of Americans obtain medical insurance and protected those with pre-existing conditions.