US Senate moves closer to confirming Trump’s Supreme Court pick

US Senate moves closer to confirming Trump’s Supreme Court pick

Calling it a "sham", Democrats mounted procedural hurdles to slow it down.

Barrett's nomination process, which would essentially lock in a 6-to-3 conservative majority on the high court, has moved with uncommon speed. He said she was one of the most "impressive" nominees for public office "in a generation".

Pennsylvania Republicans relied in part on an opinion from Justice Clarence Thomas and two other conservative justices in Bush v. Gore to argue that the Supreme Court should get involved in the case because the state court had improperly taken powers given by the U.S. Constitution to state lawmakers when it comes to presidential elections.

Calling it a "sham", Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY warned Republicans the only way to remove the "stain" of their action would be to "withdraw the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett until after the election".

Barrett is also likely to participate in the November 10 oral arguments in which Trump and fellow Republicans are asking the court to strike down the Affordable Care Act, the health reform law known as Obamacare.

Barrett, 48, presented herself in public testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee as a neutral arbiter and at one point suggested, "It's not the law of Amy".

But Barrett's past writings against abortion and a ruling on the Obama-era health care law show a deeply conservative thinker.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, left, President Donald Trump's nominee for the US Supreme Court. John Cornyn, R-Texas, dismissed the stall tactics as "frivolous".

In a floor vote mostly along party lines, 51 Republicans advanced Barrett, who's President Trump's nominee to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Republicans, who have a 53-47 majority in the Senate, promised to move forward with the confirmation, with only two senators breaking from the party's ranks and opposing starting the proceedings so close to the election.

Majority Republicans turned aside those efforts and kept Barrett's confirmation on track.

Two Republican senators, Susan Collins who faces a tough re-election fight in ME, and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, voted against moving forward after saying in recent weeks that they opposed confirming a justice so close to a presidential election.

However, the Alaska Republican said she will vote against cloture on Barrett's nomination, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, explaining that she believes Barrett's confirmation vote should happen after Election Day. Graham, R-S.C., called Barrett a "role model" for conservative women and for people strongly held religious beliefs.

Courts at all levels have been deluged with cases relating to balloting in the run up to Election Day - and amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic - but one in particular has garnered nation attention.

Murkowski said she disliked the rush toward confirmation, but supported Trump's choice of Barrett for the high court.

Ms Barrett, 48, has been a federal appeals court judge since 2017 and previously was a legal scholar at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. "My constitutional responsibility is to now look beyond process and to vote based on a solid evaluation of her qualifications and fitness of judicial temperament". He said last month that he supported the Senate taking up the nomination even though the presidential election was nearing.

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