No Democrats are expected to vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court Monday evening. The vote is expected 7:00 p.m. Central Time barring any further procedural blockades by Democrat leaders who have argued that the winner of the Nov. 3 presidential election should be the one to choose the nominee.
The Senate, in a rare weekend session on Oct. 25, voted 51-48, largely along party lines, to limit debate on Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination, setting up a vote Monday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has rejected claims by critics that the judicial branch was becoming mired in partisan politics as he defended its transformation under his watch.
“This is something to be really proud of and feel good about,” the Republican leader said Sunday during the weekend session. “By tomorrow night, we’ll have a new member of the United States Supreme Court,” he added.
Many Senate Republicans had taken turns reminding Democrats and Americans of the dozen times Democrats had moved to block Republican nominees over the last 30 years. Republicans said most of those times had been been nominations well before, even years, before an election year but had still elicited the same response from Democrats. The problem, they contend, is not that Barrett’s nomination is during an election year, but that she is being nominated by a Republican president.
Polls show Americans support Barrett’s nomination after what many considered her stellar appearance before the judiciary committee.
Barrett presented herself in public testimony before the committee as a neutral arbiter of the law.
“She’s a conservative woman who embraces her faith. She’s unabashedly pro-life but she’s not going to apply ‘the law of Amy’ to all of us,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Fox News.
All Democrats are expected to vote against Barrett’s nomination, and on Oct. 25 Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) sided with Democrats in voting against limiting debate.
Collins has said she will vote against Barrett’s final confirmation, saying it’s too close to the Nov. 3 election. Murkowski has signaled she will vote to confirm Barrett, after initially expressing skepticism.
“I believe that the only way to put us back on the path of appropriate consideration of judicial nominees is to evaluate Judge Barrett as we would want to be judged—on the merits of her qualifications,” Murkowski said on the Senate floor on Oct. 24. “And we do that when that final question comes before us. And when it does, I will be a yes.”
Republicans only need 51 votes to confirm a new justice, meaning that with a 53-member majority, the GOP can afford to lose up to three Republicans, with Vice President Mike Pence able to cast the tie-breaking vote if a 50-50 split occurs. Pence’s vote isn’t expected to be required as Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has said on several occasions he would confirm Barrett.
Barrett was a professor at Notre Dame Law School when she was tapped by Trump in 2017 for an appeals court opening, with two Democrats joining Republicans to confirm her at the time.