WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the lifetime role on the Supreme Court of the United States in a final vote on Monday evening, just over one week before Election Day.
A swearing-in ceremony was held late Monday at the White House, where Justice Clarence Thomas administered the Constitutional Oath to Barrett. The Constitutional Oath is the first of two oaths of office that justices have to take.
The Supreme Court says Chief Justice John G. Roberts will administer the Judicial Oath to Barrett, who will become the 103rd Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, in a private ceremony on Tuesday. Upon administration of that oath, Barrett will be able to participate in the work of the Court.
Despite arguing through the night Sunday, Democrats were unable to stop the vote given the 53-47 GOP majority and most Republicans uniting in support over Trump’s nominee. Senate Democrats objected to the process, arguing that the winner of the Nov. 3 election should be the one to pick who fills the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. One Republican, Susan Collins, voted against the confirmation.
Monday’s 52-48 vote was the closest high court confirmation ever to a presidential election, and the first in modern times with no support from the minority party. Vice President Mike Pence’s office said Monday he would not preside at the Senate session unless his tie-breaking vote was needed after Democrats asked him to stay away when his aides tested positive for COVID-19. His vote was not necessary.
Trump has said he expects the court to decide the outcome of the election and wants Barrett to participate on any election-related cases that go before the justices.
Just before the Senate vote, the court on a 5-3 vote with the conservative justices in the majority, issued an order curbing the deadline for mail-in ballots to be received in the electoral battleground of Wisconsin.
The 48-year-old appellate judge’s rise opens up a potential new era of rulings on abortion, gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act. A case against the Obama-era health law is scheduled to be heard Nov. 10.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send the vote to the full Senate Thursday. The panel approved Barrett 12-0, with all Republican members voting yes while the Democrats weren’t in attendance as a form of protest.
Barrett is the sixth justice on the nine-member court to be appointed by a Republican president, and the third of President Donald Trump’s first term in office.
Barrett has been a judge since 2017, when Trump nominated her to the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. But as a longtime University of Notre Dame law professor she had already established herself as a reliable conservative in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom she clerked in the late 1990s.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report