Tuesday October 27, 2020
Donald Trump absolutely wants to install his preferred candidate in the Supreme Court before the presidential elections – with success: The Republican majority in the US Senate confirms Amy Coney Barrett as constitutional judge. The conservative majority at the highest court in the USA is thus likely to be cemented for decades.
Conservative lawyer Amy Coney Barrett moves into the US Supreme Court. The Senate in Washington confirmed the candidate for US President Donald Trump on Monday evening (local time). The decision was made with the votes of 52 Republican members of the Senate, the 47 Democrats and one Republican voted against. She will be sworn in on Tuesday by presiding judge John Roberts, the Supreme Court said. She was supposed to take the oath on the constitution in the White House on Monday evening, the first stage of the swearing-in process.
With Barrett, the Conservatives in the Supreme Court get a dominant majority of six of the nine seats. That could influence the development of US society for decades. Judges are appointed for life, and the Supreme Court often has the final say on controversial cases – including abortion rights, health care and immigration policies.
The judges for the Supreme Court are nominated by the President and appointed by the Senate. Barrett replaces the liberal justice icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September. Trump really wanted to fill the vacant seat before the presidential election on November 3. He also referred explicitly to possible legal proceedings relating to the counting of votes that could end up in the Supreme Court.
Concern about “Obamacare”
The Democrats around the presidential candidate Joe Biden, however, demanded that only the winner of the election should settle the Ginsburg successor. In the end, only Senator Susan Collins supported this view on the Republican side. In early 2016, the Senate even denied a hearing to Obama’s Supreme Court candidates. At the time, they pointed out that in an election year one first had to find out what the will of the people would be. Now they are moving away from that position with Barrett.
Most recently, the Democrats warned that with Barrett in the Supreme Court, President Barack Obama’s health care reforms could fall and millions of Americans would lose their health insurance. The Trump administration is making another attempt to overturn the reform in the Supreme Court, with the first hearing due in the week after the presidential election. Trump only said last week that he hoped the court would abolish “Obamacare”. He himself has been announcing his own health care plan for years, but has still not presented it.
Liberals also fear that with Barrett and conservative dominance in the Supreme Court, the right to abortion and same-sex marriages could also be at risk. In their hearing, which lasted several days, Barrett consistently kept a low profile on the controversial issues. Among other things, she did not want to say whether, from her point of view, the right to abortions or same-sex marriages is covered by the constitution. She herself is known as an anti-abortionist – but assured her that personal views would play no role in her decisions.