The U.S. Senate confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in a partisan vote of 52-48. Justice Clarence Thomas swore in Barrett, 48, at the White House’s outdoor ceremony on Monday evening. Justice Barrett becomes the fifth woman to serve on the highest court—and the first mother of school-aged children.
Justice Barrett “is one of our nation’s most brilliant legal scholars, and she will make an outstanding justice on the highest court in our land,” said President Donald Trump.
Not all parties were thrilled and Democrats and the Left vented on social media.
“Expand the court,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., added: “Expand the court.”
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said shared “far-right, out-of-the-mainstream views. Schumer discredited Republicans for propelling Barrett’s confirmation so close to election day the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine ) was the only one to break from the GOP in opposition. She said her vote does not reflect “any conclusion that “I have reached about Judge Barrett’s qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court,” said Collins in a statement. “What I have concentrated on is being fair and consistent, and I do not think it is fair nor consistent to have a Senate confirmation vote prior to the election.”
Justice Barrett made her philosophy clear: She will not legislate from the bench. “Courts have a vital responsibility to the rule of law, which is critical to a free society, but courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life,” she said during her confirmation hearings.
Trump nominated, and the Senate confirmed, federal appeals court judges Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. The last president to name three new justices to the Supreme Court was Ronald Reagan.
Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor in 1981. O’Connor was the first female to serve on the court. Antonin Scalia was appointed in 1986 and Anthony Kennedy in 1988.
-By Corine Gatti-Santillo