With a final vote of 12-0, on Thursday the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance the nomination of the conservative judge to the Supreme Court.
Falling in line with his colleague Marco Rubio, the Cuban American Republican Senator from Florida, on Wednesday US Sen. Rick Scott took to the Senate floor to enthusiastically endorse the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett.
As early as Sept. 30, Scott lavishly praised Barrett’s character and competence. Speaking on a conference call with reporters organized by the Trump Victory campaign, the Republican from Naples applauded Trump’s third nominee to serve in the US Supreme Court, and claimed that she “has a distinguished record of service.”
Scott’s efforts paid off, as Thursday his colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The vote was 12-0. The final vote for confirmation has been set for Monday.
The 10 Democratic senators on the panel boycotted the vote and, in an effort to draw attention to an upcoming case on the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality, they filled their seats with pictures of people who rely upon the Affordable Care Act.
Barrett Raises Concerns
A federal judge and devout Catholic, Judge Barrett has expressed that a “legal career is but a means to an end . . . and that end is building the Kingdom of God.”
For nearly three years she served on the board of private Christian schools that barred admission to children of same-sex parents, and made it clear that openly gay and lesbian teachers would not be welcome on campus. Additionally, it has been reported that Barrett served on the school board of a collection of private schools that barred children of unmarried couples from attending. This has raised the question of how her conservative views may play out on the court when she is called to vote on cases that contradict her faith.
A Strong Push
Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Scott claimed that Democrats only want judicial activists, going on to say that “Democratic attempts to attack Judge Barrett for her faith fell flat,” leaving them “grasping at straws” on how to attack her.
However, the Senator expressed confidence that Barrett will have the votes for confirmation. If confirmed, Barrett would fill the spot of liberal-leaning Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died earlier this year at 87 after a long illness.
Numbers Have Consequences
The number of conservative vs. liberal judges on the Supreme Court can have consequences that will impact the lives of Americans for generations to come. That is because the court is made up of nine justices, which ensures that every case will always have a deciding vote. If Barrett is confirmed, the court would skew conservative, with 6 conservative judges and three liberal justices to decide the cases that come before it. Sometimes it can even impact those that came before; in the past, the court has revisited an issue in a new case and changed its own precedent. This means that gay marriage, or even the DACA program, could be reversed if enough justices vote for it.
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The Case for Packing the Court
Joe Biden has been critical of the rush to confirm Barrett to the Supreme Court, saying that while Trump’s administration has “no time” to do anything to deal with what’s going on in terms of the economy as a consequence of COVID-19, “they have time to rush this [confirmation] through.”
When asked his position on court packing—which basically means changing the number of Supreme Court justices, often in an effort to change the balance of power on the highest court in the land—Biden said that although he hasn’t always been a fan of adding justices to the Supreme Court, he may change his mind depending on how the Senate handles Trump’s nomination of Judge Barrett.