On Monday night, with just 8 days before the 2020 presidential elections, Republican senators held an unprecedented vote to confirm federal appellate judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve as the next Supreme Court Justice.
All Republicans except for Sen. Susan Collins of Maine voted to confirm Barrett, and all Democrats voted against it.
Barrett is the first justice to be confirmed with support from just one party since 1869, according to The National Journal. Her confirmation makes the Supreme Court a 6-3 conservative majority, with Trump having nominated one-third of the court. Five of the six conservative justices have now been appointed by Republican presidents who lost the popular vote (George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump).
During her confirmation hearing, Barrett declined to say if it’s legal for armed militias to intimidate voters at the polls, if presidents should commit to a peaceful transfer of power, if Roe v. Wade was “wrongly decided,” if LGBTQ+ Americans have a constitutional right to marry, if the climate crisis is real, or if states should be able to ban contraception.
This is the fastest a nominee has been confirmed to the highest court in the land — and confirmation has never happened this close to an election, or in the midst of an election.
President Trump and his Republican allies rushed to make that a reality in the midst of federal elections they are at risk of losing, breaking their own rules and precedents in the process.
As of Monday evening, at least 63.6 million Americans have already voted.
The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg died of complications from cancer on September 18, 2020. Seven days after Ginsburg’s death, Trump held a nominating ceremony for Barrett in the White House Rose Garden, against the express wishes of Ginsburg.