The Senate voted to advance the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett in a Sunday voting session.
The vote clears the way for a final confirmation vote in the Senate on Monday. President Trump picked Barrett to fill the opening left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed in September. Her appointment is likely to cement a longstanding 6-3 conservative majority in the nation’s highest court.
After Sunday’s vote to advance Barrett’s confirmation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) addressed his Republican colleagues from the Senate floor. “This is something to really be proud of and feel good about,” McConnell said. “We’ve made an important contribution to the future of this country. A lot of what we’ve done over the last four years will be undone, sooner or later, by the next election. They won’t be able to do much about this for a long time to come.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has been one of the loudest voices against Barrett’s confirmation. He also spoke from the Senate floor after the vote. He accused the Republican majority of “breaking faith” with America. They also are “doing the exact opposite of what it promised just four years ago,” he said. Schumer went on to call Barrett’s confirmation a “travesty” and “an inerasable stain on this Republican majority forevermore.”
Democrats Try To Disrupt Confirmation
Democrats have made every effort to disrupt the confirmation of Barrett in anticipation of a potential Election Day victory. The party believes it will take control of the Senate next year. Additionally, its members hoped to delay the vote until they had more control over the process. At best, a Biden victory would allow them to make their own Supreme Court nomination.
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Supreme Court confirmation hearings only require a simple majority with 51 votes or more. Previously, a confirmation required 60 or more votes to advance, but Democrats changed the rules in 2013. Now, it’s coming back to bite them. Unsurprisingly, their response to this perceived injustice is to push for another rule change that would expand the Supreme Court, a practice commonly referred to as “court-packing.”
Many Democrats of the party openly support expanding the Supreme Court to counteract the move. However, Presidential candidate Joe Biden has hesitated to endorse the effort publicly. If Democrats win a major victory at the Ballot Box, as many liberal-leaning polls predict they will, the party will almost certainly move to expand the court.
The Supreme Court is designed to be an apolitical organization. With this, legal experts fear expanding the judicial panel will significantly undermine its credibility as a neutral body. The issue has come up several times in the history of American politics. However, previous attempts have failed to gain as much traction as this most recent push.
Preparing The Public?
Many Democratic candidates, including Joe Biden, are already preparing the public for the effort. Biden, along with the other frontline Democrats, is casting the Republican effort to confirm Barrett as some kind of political graft scheme. However, history shows that every president who had the opportunity to nominate a Supreme Court judge before the election opted to do so. He promised to appoint a committee to look into the matter if he is elected, but it’s safe to assume this so-called independent, Biden-appointed committee would return findings favorable to the Democratic position.
Any effort to tinker with the Supreme Court could damage the very foundation of American democracy, and it opens the door for more changes that could potentially threaten the public’s constitutional rights.
The Senate is expected to confirm Amy Comey Barrett to the Supreme Court on Monday. If confirmed, the 43-year-old federal judge will likely serve many decades on the court as a lifetime appointee.