Election Beat: Amy Coney Barrett confirmed as Supreme Court Justice

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Amy Coney Barrett listens as President Donald Trump speaks before Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administers the Constitutional Oath to Barrett on the South Lawn of the White House White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after Barrett was confirmed to be a Supreme Court justice by the Senate earlier in the evening. Photo by Alex Brandon/AP Photo.

The United States Senate confirmed Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court Justice Monday night with a 52-48 vote. 

With Barrett filling Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court, the court now has a 6-3 conservative majority.  

Following the vote, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the constitutional oath to Barret at the White House ceremony. 

Many attended to celebrate, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Donald Trump, who in his speech for the confirmation called the ceremony a “momentous day.” 

Barrett then took a moment to speak at the ceremony, which appeared to target doubts that the judge would not separate her personal beliefs from her judicial duties.  

“A judge declares independence not only from the Congress and the president, but also from the private beliefs that might otherwise move her,” Barrett said. “The judicial oath captures the essence of the judicial duty: the rule of law must always control.” 

Barrett then went on to perform the judicial oath in a private ceremony on Tuesday.  

Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court only 30 days after her nomination by Trump, less than a week before Election Day, and is now the youngest judge to serve on the court at the age of 48. 

Many speculate that Trump’s nomination for Barrett for the Supreme Court may be a last-ditch effort to regain Christian voters, as Barrett is known for her conservative views. 

Amy Coney Barrett listens as President Donald Trump speaks before Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administers the Constitutional Oath Barrett on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after she was confirmed by the Senate earlier in the evening. Photo by Patrick Semansky/AP Photo.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was critical of the  confirmation, saying it was “rushed and unprecedented.”  

Many have come to scrutinize Barrett for her lack of experience as she served less than three years on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals after working as a law professor at Notre Dame Law School for two decades.  

After a resurfacing of Barrett’s opinions denouncing abortions, many Democrats grew concerned the conservative judge may try to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court decision which legalised abortion nationwide.  

In 2006, Barrett signed a “right to life ad” that appeared in the South Bend Tribune. The ad from the Saint Joseph County Right to Life calls for “an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade and restor[ing] laws that protect the lives of unborn children.” 

Barrett also told an audience at Jacksonville University she doesn’t believe Roe v. Wade could be overturned, but she believes access to abortion could be limited. 

If Barrett does become the factor when it comes to overturning Roe v. Wade, the decision then is up to the states to decide, leaving access to abortion and bodily autonomy dependent on where one lives.  

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