The Senate is expected to take a critical procedural vote on Sunday to advance Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination.
If successful, a final confirmation vote could take place as early as Monday evening. With Republicans holding a firm majority in the Senate, Barrett’s bid to advance is expected to succeed.
According to CNN, Sunday’s procedural move will attempt to break a Democratic filibuster on Barrett’s confirmation.
Democrats, on the whole, are opposed to Barrett’s appointment to the court—given her young age and conservative philosophy, her nomination would solidify the right’s hold on the Supreme Court, possibly for years to come.
CNN notes that, while Democrats have fiercely resisted Barrett’s nomination, there has never been much doubt as to the outcome. With Election Day nearing—and the prospect of a “Blue Wave” in November—Republicans have rallied behind President Trump to push Barrett’s confirmation through as quickly as possible, no matter the cost.
Right now, it appears that every Republican in the Senate will vote in favor of Barrett’s ascension to the Supreme Court. Only one conservative senator—Susan Collins of Maine, who is facing a tough re-election fight—is expected to go against the party-line, with Sen. Collins saying that it is too close to Election Day to consider a new justice.
Nevertheless, Republicans have more than enough votes to hand Barrett—along with President Trump—a last-minute win.
On Saturday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski—an Alaska Republican—said she, too, would back Barrett’s nomination.
“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,” Sen. Murkowski said in a weekend statement. “And we do that when that final question comes before us. And when it does, I will be a yes.”
Murkowski had been undecided, earlier opining that it would not be proper to push a confirmation hearing right before the general election.
CNN adds that Republicans, by and large, have rallied around Barrett, saying she is “exceptionally qualified” to serve on the Supreme Court.
Democrats, in contrast, have claimed that President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) hasty push to appoint another justice threatens to undermine the legacy of the late Ruth Bader-Ginsburg.
Some liberals have also alleged that Barrett’s juridical philosophy and short tenure as a federal judge suggest an austere ideology which could threaten the remaining provisions of the Affordable Care Act, along with voting access and labor protections.
Barrett, says CNN, repeatedly refused to answer Senate Democrats’ questions on how she might rule on a variety of controversial issues. She did, however, state that she has much in common with the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia—but will nonetheless make her own way.
“If I’m confirmed, you would not be getting Justice Scalia,” Barrett said. “You would be getting Justice Barrett. And that’s so because originalists don’t always agree.”