Delivering a major pre-election victory to President Donald Trump, the U.S. Senate on Monday night confirmed the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, moving swiftly to fill a vacancy on the court which could swing major decisions on the Obama health law, abortion, and other critical political issues.
The vote was 52 to 48 in favor of Barrett, with the Senate action coming just eight days before the November elections.
Never before had the Senate acted on a Supreme Court nomination so close to an election for President.
“This is a momentous day for America, for the United States Constitution, and for the fair and impartial rule of law,” the President said at a White House ceremony following the Senate vote.
Democrats were furious in the final Senate floor debate, again denouncing the GOP for political hypocrisy - refusing to confirm a 2016 Supreme Court choice eight months before the election, but rushing to approve one eight days before the election.
“Generations yet unborn will suffer the consequences of this nomination,” said an angry Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, who bluntly told Republicans they would live to regret this decision.
“The American people will never forget this blatant act of bad faith,” Schumer said, calling it one of the ‘darkest days’ in the history of the Senate.
Barrett will be officially sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday.