Judge Amy Coney Barrett, US President Donald Trump's candidate for the Supreme Court, gestures during a photo prior to a meeting with Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo) on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, the United States, October 21, 2020.
Anna Moneymaker | Reuters
Senate Republicans on Sunday moved forward with Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court, clearing one of the final hurdles in the 48-year-old candidate's verification process.
Barrett, a federal appeals judge on the 7th Court of Appeals, is expected to be confirmed by the Senate on Monday.
The procedural vote on Sunday was divided between 51 and 48 largely partisan. Two Republicans, Sens. Lisa Murkowski from Alaska and Susan Collins from Maine, sided with the Democrats.
There was little doubt that Barrett would sail through the vote, and there is less that it will ultimately be confirmed. Murkowski has said she will support Barrett's nomination and will vote to confirm it, despite defying the hasty nomination process.
If confirmed, Barrett will replace the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last month after serving 27 years on the bank and gaining unusual notoriety as a senior member of the court's liberal wing.
President Donald Trump has urged Barrett to take a seat Before the Supreme Court in time to resolve any legal disputes arising from the November 3rd election between him and Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Barrett will give the Supreme Court a 6-3 majority of Republican-appointed judges and move the panel ideologically to the right on issues from gun control to abortion rights.
Prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court, Barrett worked as a clerk for influential Conservative Judge Antonin Scalia and was a professor at Notre Dame Law School. Trump nominated them for the 7th Circuit just over three years ago.
The approval of a Supreme Court candidate by a mere majority is a relatively recent phenomenon.
For decades, it took the Senate 60 votes to drive the judiciary's nominations. Democrats lowered the threshold to a majority for candidates for courts other than the Supreme Court in 2013.
In 2017, under the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Who was criticizing the so-called "nuclear option" at the time, Republicans lowered the threshold for selecting the Supreme Court to a majority.
Chuck Schumer, chairman of the Senate Minority, D-N.Y., Condemned Barrett's rise on Sunday, calling it a "travesty."
McConnell praised the vote as "an important contribution to the future of this country".
The Kentucky Republican said many of the GOP's successes could be undone by the results of the 2020 election.
"There's not much you can do about it," he said.