October 28, 2020

Senate Officially Confirms Barrett to Supreme Court

Amy Coney Barrett taking a Constitutional
Oath at the White House.
On Monday evening, the Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Shortly after the vote, Barrett took a Constitutional oath administered by Justice Clarence Thomas during a ceremony at the White House. The next day, she took a separate judicial oath administered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts.

Monday's confirmation vote went along party lines, with the only outlier being Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who voted alongside Democrats against Barrett's confirmation.

"Over the past few weeks, the entire world has seen Justice Barrett’s deep knowledge, tremendous poise, and towering intellect," President Trump said at the White House ceremony. "She answered questions for hours on end. Throughout her entire confirmation, her impeccable credentials were unquestioned, unchallenged, and obvious to all."

After she was sworn in at the White House, Justice Barrett gave an address that concluded, "The oath that I have solemnly taken tonight means at its core that I will do my job without any fear or favor and that I will do so independently of both the political branches and of my own preferences. I love the Constitution and the Democratic Republic that it establishes, and I will devote myself to preserving it. Thank you."

Barrett graduated summa cum laude from Notre Dame Law School and clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. She began teaching at Notre Dame Law School in 2010 and was confirmed to the Seventh-Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. Barrett is a Catholic mother of seven who has become the first mother of school-aged children to serve on the Supreme Court. 

During her confirmation to the Seventh Circuit, she was famously challenged for her faith by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Sen. Feinstein told Barrett, “When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that's of concern.”

Barrett faced similar challenges by Democrats during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. Senators on the committee challenged her pro-life beliefs, arguing that she would be unable to fairly judge the law due to her own personal beliefs. Barrett patiently listened during each hearing and responded, “I can’t pre-commit or say, ‘Yes, I’m going in with some agenda,’ because I am not. I don’t have any agenda. I have no agenda to try and overrule Casey. I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come.” 

She told Senators that she would set aside her personal beliefs and follow the law regardless of what cases are put before her.

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