my Coney Barrett was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice on the White House South Lawn in front of Donald Trump by Clarence Thomas Monday night – an hour after a divided Senate voted for her confirmation.
Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court by a 52-48 vote – with Republican Susan Collins crossing the aisle to vote against her. Her confirmation immediately makes the court solidly conservative with a 6-3 majority.
At the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue at 9pm, and in the face of a pandemic which reached a new record number of cases, Trump turned the South Lawn into the venue for a celebration of Coney Barrett’s swearing-in.
Trump praised Coney Barrett’s ‘towering intellect,’ and ‘impeccable credentials,’ as he spoke with the new justice on his right and Thomas on his left.
After Thomas swore her in Coney Barrett thanks the senators who voted for her and said: ‘I pledge to you and to the American people that I will discharge my duties to the best of my ability.’
And in an acknowledgement of her highly-controversial confirmation process and the focus on her conservative Catholic beliefs and open espousal of pro-life beliefs while she was an academic.
‘I will do my job my without any fear or favor and that I will do so independently of both the political branches and my personal preferences.’
In the short term, Barrett could help decide election and voting-related issues as the vote on her confirmation comes just over a week before Election Day.
Donald Trump has made it clear he feels the results of the election could end up at the Supreme Court – and with a conservative majority of 6-3 with Barrett seated, it’s more likely they would rule in favor of the president.
Also about a week after the election the Supreme Court will take up a case on the Affordable Care Act, which Democrats fear will be overturned if Barrett has anything to say about it.