Amy Coney Barrett confirmed as latest Justice, local political leaders weigh in

Brenda Watkins
October 27, 2020

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., administers the Judicial Oath to Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the East Conference Room, Supreme Court Building.

President Trump looked on as Justice Clarence Thomas administered the official constitutional oath to Barrett before a crowd on the South Lawn of the White House, roughly an hour after the GOP-controlled Senate confirmed Trump's third nominee to the high court in a largely party-line vote. Republicans in Pennsylvania challenged the policy over what they argued was essentially an extension of election day, which "could destroy the American public's confidence in the electoral system".

Judge Amy Coney Barrett officially became Justice Barrett following a private ceremony in the Supreme Court's East Conference Room Tuesday morning.

"Upon administration of that oath, she will be able to begin to participate in the work of the Court", the Supreme Court said in a press release prior to the ceremony, adding that a "formal investiture ceremony will take place at a special sitting of the Court in the Courtroom at a later date". Her nomination was marred by controversy, as Democrats insisted that the victor of the election be allowed to select Ginsburg's replacement. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on November 10 in the Trump administration's effort to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

The Supreme Court of the United States, the court of last resort for justice in our country, should not be up for a power grab, but that is exactly what happened today.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell defended Barrett's nomination.

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"Expand the court", tweeted the New York Democrat following the 52-48 vote.

Harris also assailed Republicans for "their effort to gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and strip health care from millions with pre-existing conditions" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"You may win this vote". After the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing and voted Thursday to advance her nomination to the Senate floor, Senate Republicans swiftly voted Sunday to limit debate on the matter before holding a confirmation vote Monday evening.

During a marathon Senate confirmation hearing, Barrett refused to answer many questions directly, including whether the Constitution or federal law gives the President the authority to delay an election unilaterally.

"No hints, no previews, no forecasts", she said during the sessions. The Luzerne County Board of Elections immediately requested that Barrett recuse herself from the ongoing ballot dispute.

"The oath that I have solemnly taken tonight means at its core that I will do my job without any fear or favor, and that I will do so independently of both the political branches and of my own preferences", she continued.

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