The United States Senate voted 51-48 Sunday afternoon in favor of moving forward with a vote for the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, effectively ensuring that President Donald Trump will appoint a third justice to the nation’s highest court before the conclusion of his first term in office.
All but two Republicans voted for the cloture motion on Sunday to end debate on the nominee, while no Democrats voted in favor of it. According to Fox News, the vote means that debate over the nominee will be capped at 30 hours, and a final vote can be held on Monday evening.
“The Senate just voted to advance one of the most qualified nominees in generations. Judge Barrett’s intellectual brilliance, integrity, and commitment to impartiality are above reproach. Tomorrow, we will vote to confirm the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court,” tweeted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
The Senate just voted to advance one of the most qualified nominees in generations. Judge Barrett’s intellectual brilliance, integrity, and commitment to impartiality are above reproach.
Tomorrow, we will vote to confirm the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) October 25, 2020
The two Republicans who voted against moving the nomination forward were Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who is in the middle of a tough re-election fight, and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who said Saturday afternoon that she was against doing so on principle even though she plans to vote in favor of Barrett in a final confirmation vote.
“I believe that the only way to put us back on the path of appropriate consideration of judicial nominees is to evaluate Judge Barrett as we would want to be judged, on the merits of her qualifications,” said Murkowski.
Back in 2018, the Alaska senator was the sole Republican to oppose the appointment of then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, saying that while she believed him to be a “good man,” she wasn’t certain if he was the right person for the role. She ultimately abstained as a courtesy to a Republican senator who couldn’t attend the vote.
During a speech on the Senate floor on Sunday afternoon, McConnell called Barrett a “uniquely qualified person,” and slammed Senate Democrats for not having “a peep” to say about her talent or intellect throughout the nomination process.
“We’ve got, colleagues, a perfect nominee to the Supreme Court,” he said.
The University of Notre Dame Law School, where the nominee has taught since 2002, offers the following professional biography for Judge Amy Coney Barrett:
Judge Barrett teaches and researches in the areas of federal courts, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation. Her scholarship in these fields has been published in leading journals, including the Columbia, Virginia, and Texas Law Reviews. From 2010-2016, she served by appointment of the Chief Justice on the Advisory Committee for the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. She has been selected as “Distinguished Professor of the Year” by three of the Law School’s graduating classes.
Judge Barrett earned her B.A. in English literature, magna cum laude, from Rhodes College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and, among other honors, was chosen by the faculty as the most outstanding graduate in the college’s English department. She earned her J.D., summa cum laude, from Notre Dame, where she was a Kiley Fellow, earned the Hoynes Prize, the Law School’s highest honor, as the number one student in her class, and served as executive editor of the Notre Dame Law Review.
Before joining the Notre Dame faculty, Judge Barrett clerked for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court. As an associate at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin in Washington, D.C., she litigated constitutional, criminal, and commercial cases in both trial and appellate courts. Judge Barrett has served as a visiting associate professor and John M. Olin Fellow in Law at the George Washington University Law School, as a visiting associate professor of law at the University of Virginia and is a member of the American Law Institute (ALI).
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