The U.S. Senate is expected to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to a seat on the Supreme Court in a vote late Monday.
If confirmed, Barrett would be the third justice on the nine-member court to be nominated by President Donald Trump and significantly tip its ideological balance toward a 6-3 conservative majority.
Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, and Senator Susan Collins is the only Republican to indicate she would not vote on Barrett’s nomination due to the close proximity to next week’s presidential election.
Democrats have opposed Barrett’s nomination both objecting to her credentials and to the process of filling the seat of late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in such rapid fashion.
The Democrats have argued that the decision of picking a nominee for the seat should have been left up to whichever candidate wins the presidential election, a position Republicans held when there was an election-year vacancy in early 2016.
"The Senate is doing the right thing," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday.“We’re moving this nomination forward.”
The Senate voted 51-48 Sunday to end Democrats’ filibuster on Barrett’s nomination, starting a period of 30 hours of debate before the final vote.
“Senate Democrats are taking over the floor all night to fight this sham process by Senate Republicans,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said. “We will not stop fighting.”
Barrett almost assuredly would be among the justices hearing a new challenge Nov. 10 on whether to invalidate the country’s Affordable Care Act, which Trump has sought to overturn.
The law, popularly known as Obamacare after former President Barack Obama who championed its passage in 2010, is a measure that helps provide health care to millions of Americans. Its fate is a crucial concern for many people amid the surging number of new coronavirus cases in the United States.
Republicans have long argued that Obamacare costs taxpayers too much and gives government too much control over health care. The Republican-led Congress in 2017 eliminated the Act’s mandate that people who could afford to buy health insurance do so. They now want the Supreme Court to invalidate the entire Act, saying that without that key provision, the rest of the legislation is invalid.