Judge Amy Coney Barrett is sworn in as Supreme Court Justice as victorious Trump praises her after Senate confirmation – The Sun
JUDGE Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on Monday evening – handing President Trump a major pre-election victory with just days to go until the vote.
Barrett – a conservative feted by the Republican Party – was a divisive candidate who earlier in the evening split Senate votes along party lines by 52-48.
At her swearing in ceremony at the White House, President Donald Trump called Barrett's appointment "a momentous day for America."
With Barrett smiling beside him, the president said: "The Barrett family has captured America's heart.
"It is highly fitting that Justice Barrett fills the seat of a true pioneer for women, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg."
He also praised the judge's "towering intellect" and "impeccable credentials".
Barrett, 48, who was then sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, then said: "I stand here tonight, truly honored and humbled."
She said: "The oath that I have solemnly taken tonight means at its core I will do the job without fear or favor and do it independently of the political branches and of my own preferences."
After the ceremony, Trump and Barrett waved to applauding guests from the White House balcony.
Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the separate judicial oath at the court on Tuesday, the court said in a statement.
Trump has said he expects the court to decide the outcome of the election and wants Barrett to participate on any election-related cases that go before the justices.
Her confirmation to the highest court in the US marks the third addition to the nine-member chamber under Trump's presidency and tilts its political sway towards conservatives by six to three.
Trump's other Supreme Court appointees are conservatives Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
Barrett's appointment was the first time in 151 years that a justice has been confirmed without a single vote from the minority party – a sign of how divisive Supreme Court appointments have become in recent years.
Democrats rallied in opposition of Barrett’s appointment, complaining that it was too close to Election Day to fill the seat left vacant by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – a hero among liberals.
It was such an approach that Republicans also stood behind in 2016, when the party blocked the appointment of Judge Merrick Garland, who had been nominated to the court by President Barack Obama more than 200 days before Election Day that year.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who is one of few Republicans to have regularly challenged Trump, said that Barrett’s appointment was essential in maintaining public trust in the U.S. institution.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, however, shared a video on Twitter where he accused Republicans of committing "one of the greatest acts of hypocrisy that has ever occurred in the Senate."
Schumer also pointed out that the dying wish of Justice Ginsburg was that she be replaced after the next president of the United States has been decided.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also let her feelings be known in an interview with MSNBC.
Pelosi spoke about the potential of expanding both the Supreme Court and district court – an approach that some Democrats believe will provide a fairer representation of the American people in the 21st century.
Pelosi said: "In 1876, there were nine justices on the court. Our population has grown enormously since then. Should we expand the court? Let's take a look and see.
"And that relates to the nine district courts: maybe we need more district courts as well. And one other thing we need – we need for these justices to disclose their holdings.
"Why should all the rest of us have to disclose our holdings – and that is appropriate – but not if you are a justice of the Supreme Court?
Joe Biden said late on Monday the confirmation was "rushed and unprecedented".
With minutes of Monday's result, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Representative for New York, tweeted: "Expand the court" – an open call in favor of court packing, which allows for more judges to be nominated by a president.
During her confirmation hearings, the Judge Barrett probed on topics that will likely shape the nation for years to come – even after President Trump has left office.
In November, Barrett will begin hearing cases tied to the Affordable Care Act, immigration plans, and the rights of same-sex couples.
It is also possible that the judge could hear challenges that will arise from the presidential race itself.
North Carolina and Pennsylvania – both battleground states – may see challenges about the date by which absentee ballots are accepted.
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