US President Donald Trump initially did not want Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the US Supreme Court.
Trump wanted Barbara Lagoa, a Cuban American judge from Florida. Her appointment would have provided a huge political boost to the president in a key swing state.
However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted Barrett, arguing the ardent social conservative would have the best chance of uniting the Republican Party. McConnell had his way, and Barrett was approved by The Senate on Monday. All Senate Republicans bar Senator Susan Collins voted to confirm Barrett eight days before the US Election.
Less than two hours later, Barrett was sworn in to the nation’s highest court.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2020
“This is a momentous day for America, for the United States Constitution and for the fair and impartial rule of law,” Trump said before her swearing in.
“As president, I have no more solemn obligation and no greater honour than to appoint Supreme Court justices,” he added.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 27, 2020
Trump highlighted Barrett’s experience, saying she has a “towering intellect” who will become the fifth woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
“She is one of our nation’s most brilliant legal scholars,” Trump added.
In brief remarks after being sworn in, Barrett said she would act impartially while serving on the Supreme Court.
“It is the job of a judge to resist her policy preference,” she said, adding it would be a “dereliction of duty to give in to them”.
“This separation of duty is what makes the judiciary distinct among the three branches of government,” she added.
McConnell, who blocked President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland from having a confirmation vote in 2016, said Barrett’s confirmation process was constitutional.
“The process comports entirely with the Constitution. We don’t have any doubt, do we, that if the shoe was on the other foot they’d be confirming,” he said.
The US Supreme Court now has a 6-3 conservative majority.