On the evening of Monday, Oct. 26, the controversial and highly contested confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as the 115th Justice of the Supreme Court came to a dramatic end. A bitterly divided Senate has now confirmed Coney Barrett just days before the presidential election. This move by President Trump and the majority-conservative Senate leaves the future of abortion rights, LGBTQ+ rights and the Affordable Care Act in potential jeopardy.
Despite no support from the Democratic minority and Republican Senator Susan Collins voting no, the vote to confirm Coney Barrett passed by 52-48. The freshman justice was careful throughout her confirmation process not to reveal how she would rule on any specific cases, saying, “it’s not the law of Amy.”
Described as “unabashedly pro-life” by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, Coney Barrett is often noted for her belief that life begins at conception. With another pro-life justice on the Supreme Court, a conservative majority of 6 to 3 and Trump indicating that it is “certainly possible” for Roe v. Wade to be overturned, this landmark court decision’s days may indeed be numbered.
There are currently several items on the short-term to-do list for the Supreme Court. Newly appointed Justice Coney Barrett could decisively impact these pending decisions. Among those decisions is Trump’s plea to stop the Manhattan district attorney from acquiring his tax returns, and another item is whether or not deadlines for absentee ballots should be extended in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
On Nov. 10, the Supreme Court is scheduled to convene for Trump’s challenge to end the Affordable Care Act. Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris rang the alarm bell earlier this month in protest of the possible removal of the Affordable Care Act, saying “if they succeed, it will result in millions of people losing access to healthcare at the worst possible time: in the middle of a pandemic.”
While many things are still uncertain about this highly controversial decision, one thing is for sure: history was made on Monday, Oct. 26. According to the Senate historical office, Coney Barrett’s confirmation was the first confirmation in 150 years to pass with no support from the Senate minority party, and the closest nomination ever to a presidential election.
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