By C. Mitchell Shaw - thenewamerican.com
In one of the quickest nomination proceedings in modern times, Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed Monday evening to fill the seat on the Supreme Court left vacant by the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month. Her appointment over the objections of Democrats gives conservatives a six to three majority in the nation's highest court.
Barrett was approved by the full Senate with a vote of 52 to 48. Every Democrat voted against her appointment; and every Republican except Senator Susan Collins of Maine voted for it. Collins, appearing to buy into the liberal line about the nearness of the election, stated, "Because this vote is occurring prior to the election, I will vote against the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett." She added, "To be clear, my vote does not reflect any conclusion that I have reached about Judge Barrett's qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court."
Collins is in a tight race to maintain her Senate seat. Given the political tension surrounding both the upcoming election and the confirmation of Barrett, Collins' attempt to blunt the tip of the spear by siding with Democrats will not likely save her seat.
Collins' misgivings notwithstanding, the appointment of Barrett to the Supreme Court is a major victory for President Trump, who promised he would see her appointed before the election on November 3. Democrats - who did all in their power to prevent the appointment of Barrett - are now calling the expedited process to seat Barrett "illegitimate."
Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who is also Joe Biden's running mate in the upcoming presidential election, said, "Today Republicans denied the will of the American people by confirming a Supreme Court justice through an illegitimate process - all in their effort to gut the Affordable Care Act and strip health care from millions with pre-existing conditions." She added, "We won't forget this."
Just moments after the vote, Hillary Clinton tweeted, "Senate Republicans just pushed through a Supreme Court justice who will help them take away Americans' health care in the middle of a pandemic. For them, this is victory. Vote them out."
Prior to the vote, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made a speech on the floor of the Senate, saying, "Today, Monday, October 26, 2020, will go down as one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate," adding, "You may win this vote, and Amy Coney Barrett may become the next associate justice of the Supreme Court. But you will never, never get your credibility back."
While Schumer is expressing outrage over the appointment of Barrett, his counterpart across the aisle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), is likely celebrating. It has been one of McConnell's major points of focus to see that this appointment took place. The entire process - from nomination to Barrett's approval by the full Senate - took a mere 30 days.
Following Monday evening's vote, Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in at the White House, where Justice Clarence Thomas, who knows a thing or two about contentious confirmation hearing, performed the honors. She will begin hearing cases as early as later this week. This week looks to be a busy one for the new associate justice of the Supreme Court.
It will also likely be a busy week for Democrats, as they behave like obstreperous toddlers, taking every opportunity to decry Barrett's confirmation as "illegitimate" - just as they have spent the last four years attempting to delegitimize the president who just appointed her.
And then, there is the election. With Democrats in the throes of a temper tantrum, their focus will likely be divided, while Republicans - fresh from victory - will have the opportunity to build success upon success.
With a contentious election battle on the near horizon, Barrett - who while in private practice, worked on Bush v. Gore - may find herself hearing arguments as to the validity of the election. The irony would be if the challengers were the Democrats who just attempted to move Heaven and Earth to keep her off the bench.