The U.S. Senate approved the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in a 52-48 vote on Monday along mostly partisan lines.
Barrett’s nomination was supported by both GOP Texas senators, while all Senate Democrats and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) voted against the nomination.
Democrats argued that the vacancy should remain unfilled until after the election, while Republicans contended that since they control the White House and the majority of the Senate, they are acting properly to approve a nomination.
“Judge Barrett has impeccable credentials,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). “She graduated number one in her class at Notre Dame Law School, she clerked for the great Justice Antonin Scalia and she’s been a law professor at Notre Dame for 20 years. She’s been one of the most respected federal appellate judges in the country, and somehow she manages to do all that while being a mom to seven kids.”
On the Senate floor before the vote on Monday evening, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said that Barrett “is as impressive as they come,” and noted that a poll found 59 percent of Texas voters wanted to see Barrett confirmed before the election.
Another poll from the University of Texas at Tyler found that 60 percent of voters believed the Senate should vote on Barrett’s nomination before the election.
Cruz and Cornyn are both members of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, which approved her nomination out of the committee last week in a unanimous 12-0 decision after Democrats on the committee opted to boycott the procedural vote.
Cornyn said that he found it to be a “surreal environment” where Democrats decided to “boycott one of the most important votes this committee will have, probably, during our entire senatorial tenure.”
“Their argument, as I understand it, is somehow Amy Coney Barrett will violate her oath of office contrary to everything she has done and who she is,” said Cornyn.
“Senate Democrats tried every delay tactic they could to derail this process,” said Cruz. “Fortunately, these delay tactics did not stall Judge Barrett’s nomination.”
Both Cruz and Cornyn were confident that Barrett would be confirmed at the beginning of the committee hearings.
Barrett, a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and a graduate of Notre Dame Law School, was nominated by President Trump to fill the SCOTUS vacancy left after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September.
Her nomination will now return to the White House for final approval by President Donald Trump and she is expected to be sworn in to the new position this evening by Justice Clarence Thomas.
“Justice Barrett’s confirmation comes at a critical time for our country. Far too often, we are just one vote away from seeing our liberties – our freedom of speech, our religious liberty, our Second Amendment rights – trampled on at the Supreme Court. Confirming Justice Barrett to the Court is a great victory for every American who cares about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and our fundamental liberties,” said Cruz.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.