The Senate voted on Monday evening to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, cementing a 6-3 majority of conservatives on the Court bench.
The final tally was 52-48 with almost every Republican senator voting in favor of confirmation.
“By any objective standard, Judge Barrett deserves to be confirmed to the Supreme Court,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor before the vote. McConnell criticized some Democrats’ claims that the appointment of Barrett was “illegitimate,” saying “legitimacy does not flow from their feelings.”
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), slammed the impending confirmation.
“Today…will go down as one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate,” Schumer said. Every Democratic senator voted against approving Judge Barrett.
Senator Susan Collins (R., Maine), the only Republican to oppose Barrett’s confirmation, had voted to confirm President Trump’s previous nominee, Justice Brett Kavanaugh. However, the longtime Maine senator is currently in the midst of a difficult reelection campaign in a state where voters have soured on the president. In late September, Collins announced that she would oppose confirming Barrett so close to the November elections.
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) opposed moving forward with the confirmation process before the elections, but ultimately voted to confirm Barrett.
Senate Democrats attempted, without success, to scupper Barrett’s confirmation by using procedural delays.
Vice President Mike Pence was initially scheduled to preside over the Senate’s confirmation session. However, several of Pence’s aides recently tested positive for coronavirus, and staff apparently decided to keep the vice president on the campaign trail instead of attending the confirmation vote.
“Vice President Pence is campaigning in Minnesota today,” an aide to Pence told Politico earlier on Monday. “The VP is not planning to be at the Senate tonight unless his vote is needed.”