The Senate will vote on Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court this evening on a largely party-line vote. What are the left and right saying about its impact on upcoming cases?
The United States Senate is set to vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the United States Supreme Court Monday evening after a procedural vote over the weekend.
- The vote will come after a marathon weekend session in which debate was set and speeches on the Senate floor continued through Sunday night into Monday.
- While Senate Democrats do not have the votes to stop the confirmation, they focused their attention during debate on healthcare, citing the “threat” Barrett will be to those with pre-existing conditions when confirmed to the Supreme Court.
- The vote tallies are not expected to change significantly between procedural votes and final confirmation. However, Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, announced she will support Barrett in the final confirmation vote after being opposed to Barrett’s nomination so close to the presidential election. Murkowski said during her floor speech “While I oppose the process that has led us to this point, I do not hold it against her as an individual who has navigated the gauntlet with grace, skill and humility. I will vote no on the procedural votes ahead of us but yes to confirm Judge Barrett when the question before us is her qualification to be an associate justice.”
- Barring unforeseen circumstances, Barrett is expected to be sworn in swiftly and begin participation in key cases before the Supreme Court, namely cases involving the Affordable Care Act and a variety of complaints about voting for this election.
- The Supreme Court has typically deferred to state officials, regardless of party, in recent cases about voting and election procedures, yet some activists and civil rights lawyers are worried Barrett’s confirmation may change that.
- Liberal commentators have continued their critique of Barrett as a threat to reproductive rights, go so far as to say “the threat to birth control — and in vitro fertilization — is increasingly plausible.”
- CNN’s Jill Filipovic characterizes GOP defenses of Barrett’s faith as “an insult to our intelligence.” She argues if Barrett applies the beliefs of her faith to rulings, it “could do tremendous damage to millions of Americans”, while also wanting Barrett to use her faith in future cases to end the death penalty.
- The New York Times published an opinion scribed by two lawyers and former Supreme Court clerks arguing the confirmation of a SCOTUS nominee will endanger the court’s “legitimacy.”
- Leaders of the Judicial Crisis Network said Barrett’s “commitment to constitutionalism” will be “a milestone for the Constitution and country”, and highlighted Senate Minority Chuck Schumer’s admission that opposition to Barrett was not about her professional qualifications.
- The Dallas Morning News lamented the “farcical theater” of judicial nominations and said Barrett is plainly qualified and should be confirmed.
- Andy Smarick of the American Enterprise Institute contends Barrett’s rise to the Supreme Court will help return the notion of “self-government”, arguing it’s been “forsaken” and eroded as courts have “invented new rights under the Constitution.”
- Conservative law professor and National Review contributor Jonathan Adler argued Senator Schumer’s opposition to the Senate procedures of Barrett’s confirmation was hypocritical, detailing Schumer’s previous efforts to filibuster George W Bush’s judicial nominees.
© Dallas Gerber, 2020