Amy Coney Barrett officially became the 115th justice of the United States Supreme Court on Monday.
Barrett was sworn in by Justice Clarence Thomas on the South Lawn of the White House Monday night while President Trump looked on. A few hundred guests attended the ceremony, which occurred within hours of Barrett’s Senate confirmation. Barret took the constitutional oath and took the first step towards a full confirmation.
Earlier in the evening, the Senate confirmed Barrett in a 53-48 vote that fell almost entirely along party lines. Only one GOP Senator, Maine’s Susan Collins, voted against her nomination, while Democrats boycotted the hearing entirely.
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Barrett’s Judicial Oath-Taking
On Tuesday, Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the judicial oath to Barrett at the Supreme Court. Once she takes the oath, she will be a full-fledged member of the court and can participate in its decisions.
“She will make an outstanding justice on the highest court,” President Trump said to the crowd gathered for the White House ceremony celebrating Barrett’s confirmation. Trump also pointed out that Barrett is the first mother of school-aged children to sit on the nation’s highest judicial body.
Barrett later expressed her gratitude to the group and promised to perform her duties diligently. “I am grateful for the confidence you have expressed in me, and I pledge to you and to the American people that I will discharge my duties to the very best of my ability,” said Barrett.
Barrett’s confirmation is a game-changer for the Republican party. With the new justice’s appointment, conservatives will have a 6-3 majority in the Supreme Court. This comes after Barrett replaced the now-deceased liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September. It’s the first time that conservatives will have a court majority since the 1930s.
“For the first time in more than 80 years, we will have a true conservative majority on the Supreme Court,” said Mike Davis, a former Senate Judiciary Committee aide who pushed for the nomination of Barrett and other conservative nominees. “This means that the Supreme Court will protect everyday Americans from government overreach and mob rule.”
The feelings weren’t so bubbly on the left side of the aisle. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tried to disrupt the vote to confirm Barrett with a motion to adjourn the Senate prior to the confirmation. However, the GOP majority rebuffed him. Schumer later said the day would “go down as one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate.”
Other Democrats promised retribution for the Republican nomination effort. Many Democrats openly support expanding the Supreme Court so they can counter the conservative nomination. Democratic candidate Joe Biden says he will form a bipartisan panel to study Supreme Court reforms if he wins the elections. However, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) promised payback. “There will be consequences,” Mr. Blumenthal warned.
Republicans defended their decision to move forward with Barret’s nomination. “Elections have consequences. And what this administration and this Republican Senate has done is exercise the power that was given to us by the American people, in a manner that is entirely within the rules of the Senate and the Constitution of the United States,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said shortly before the confirmation vote.
The 48-year-old Justice Barrett will serve a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court. With this, she is expected to swing the court towards a conservative majority for the foreseeable future.