The U.S. Senate on Monday night approved the entry of conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, one of the fastest confirmation processes in history.
Fifty-two senators voted in favor, all Republicans except Susan Collins of Maine. All Democrats and Independents have voted against. Thus, Donald Trump has already left an indelible mark on the United States, whether he wins or loses the November 3 elections.
With Justice Barrett’s promotion to the Supreme Court, charged with ensuring that the Constitution is respected, it already has a solid conservative majority that will most likely last for decades unless the Democrats intend to expand the bench. Not only has the current president already appointed three of the nine Supreme Court justices, but since he arrived at the White House in January 2017 he has elected 219 federal judges, out of nearly 800. The judiciary will undoubtedly be the most lasting legacy of the Trump era.
The confirmation of Judge Barrett in the Senate on Monday was, as has been the custom in Washington in the past few years, a show at times worthy of a three-ring circus. The Democrats have tried to boycott the process at every turn, absent themselves and trying to prolong the vote with all sorts of tricks. The Republicans, fearful of losing power in the elections, have accelerated as never before, to finish the process as soon as possible, with debate on Sunday and in record time. And the White House insisted that Vice President Mike Pence, who is also the Senate president, chair the session, despite the fact that several close collaborators of his have tested positive for coronavirus and it would be logical for him to be in quarantine these days. Finally, Pence was absent from the vote.
In any case, all these battles were nothing more than distractions from the fact that Barrett, 48, is the fifth woman to reach the Supreme Court in its history, and the second conservative after Sandra Day O’Connor. She has been a federal judge since 2017, and during her career on the bench, and before that, she has shown that she is a conservative jurist in the sense that she tends to interpret the Constitution as it was written by the founding fathers, and not by adapting it to modern interpretations and readings. As a practicing Catholic, she opposes abortion and several sections of the Democrats’ health reform, especially the one that required religious institutions to offer contraceptives to their employees. Even so, it is the oral hearings in the Senate he said that his opinions will be left at the Supreme Court’s door, and that he will be impartial in keeping with what the Magna Carta says.