Amy Coney Barrett’s US Supreme Court nomination vote set for October 22 by Senate Judiciary Committee
The Senate Judiciary Committee will cast their votes for or against US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on October 22.
- It is likely Amy Coney Barrett will be voted in as a Supreme Court Judge before the upcoming US election
- Judge Barrett faced two days of questions from Republican and Democrat senators
- The vote date to determine her approval as a Supreme Court Justice is October 22
The date was set as they hold a Thursday session without Judge Barrett, who has faced two straight days of questioning, during which she stressed that she would be her own judge.
She sought to create distance between herself and past positions critical of abortion, the Affordable Care Act and other issues.
Her confirmation to take the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg seems inevitable, as even some Senate Democrats acknowledged.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham pushed past Democratic objections to set the panel’s vote date on recommending her confirmation, even before final witnesses testify before and against her nomination.
Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar described the process as “a sham”.
In the minority, Democrats acknowledge there is little they can do to stop them from locking a conservative majority on the court for years to come.
The shift would cement a 6-3 conservative majority on the court and would be the most pronounced ideological change in 30 years, from the liberal icon to the conservative appeals court judge.
Facing almost 20 hours of questions from senators, the 48-year-old judge was careful not to take on the President who nominated her and sought to separate herself from her writings on controversial subjects when she was an academic.
She skipped past Democrats’ pressing questions about ensuring the date of next month’s election or preventing voter intimidation, both set in federal law, and the peaceful transfer of presidential power.
She also refused to express her view on whether the President can pardon himself.
“It’s not one that I can offer a view,” she said in response to a question from Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy.
Democrats raised those questions because President Donald Trump has done so himself.
When it came to major issues that are likely to come before the court, including abortion and health care, Judge Barrett repeatedly promised to keep an open mind and said neither Mr Trump nor anyone else in the White House had tried to influence her views.
“No-one has elicited from me any commitment in a case,” she said.
She said she is not on a “mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act”, though she has been critical of the two Supreme Court decisions that preserved key parts of what has become known as Obamacare.
She could be on the court when it hears the latest Republican-led challenge on November 10.
Judge Barrett is the most open opponent of abortion nominated to the Supreme Court in decades and Democrats fear that her ascension could be a tipping point that threatens abortion rights.
Republican senators embraced her stance, proudly stating that she was, in Graham’s words, an “unashamedly pro-life” conservative who was making history as a role model for other women.
Judge Barrett refused to say whether the 1973 landmark Roe versus Wade ruling on abortion rights was correctly decided, though she signed an open letter seven years ago that called the decision “infamous”.
Democrats pressed repeatedly on the judge’s approach to health care, abortion, racial equity and voting rights, but conceded they were unlikely to stop her quick confirmation.