Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation vote

By Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 0400 GMT (1200 HKT) October 27, 2020
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8:35 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Senate confirms Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court

From CNN's Clare Foran and Ted Barrett

Senate TV
Senate TV

The Senate has voted to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court, solidifying the court's conservative majority.

The vote was 52-48.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is in a tough re-election fight, was the only GOP senator to cross party lines and vote with Democrats against the nomination after having expressed concerns that it's too close to Election Day to consider a nominee.

The stakes in the Supreme Court battle are immense and come at a pivotal time in American politics in the run up to an election where control of Congress and the White House are on the line. Trump's appointment of a new Supreme Court justice will mark the third of his tenure in office, giving Republicans a historic opportunity to deliver on the key conservative priority and campaign promise of transforming the federal courts through lifetime appointments.

Barrett, who is 48 years old, is likely to serve on the court for decades and will give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court, a shift in its makeup that could have dramatic implications for a range of issues that could come before it, including the future of the Affordable Care Act and any potential disputes regarding the 2020 election.

The confirmation vote comes after Senate Republicans, who hold a majority in the upper chamber, pushed ahead with one of the quickest nomination proceedings in modern times following the death of the late Justice and liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month.

Watch here:

7:57 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Senate votes on Barrett's confirmation

From CNN's Clare Foran and Ted Barrett

The Senate is now taking the final vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Republicans need only a simple majority vote to elevate President Trump’s nominee to the high court and they are on track to do so.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is in a tough re-election fight, is expected to be the only GOP senator to vote against the nomination over concerns that it's too close to Election Day to consider a nominee.

All Senate Democrats are expected to oppose the nomination.

 

7:59 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

McConnell delivers final remarks ahead of Barrett confirmation vote

From CNN's Lauren Fox 

Senate TV
Senate TV

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is delivering his final remarks on the Senate floor right now on Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination.

But in what is unusual for the majority leader, he is delivering his speech largely to his GOP conference. He is turning to them and gesturing to them frequently. And like they did yesterday for the procedural vote, most of the GOP members are in their seats.

Democrats meanwhile are not sitting on the chamber. At one point, McConnell turned to the Democratic side of the aisle and noted they did not appear to be on the floor at the moment.

“By any objective standard, Judge Barrett deserves to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. The American people agree. In just a few minutes, she’ll be on the Supreme Court,” he said.

McConnell’s speech, which is part lecture on the judicial history of the modern Senate and part pep talk for his conference, comes as we expect just one GOP defection: Sen. Susan Collins.

8:32 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Schumer slams GOP push to confirm Barrett

From CNN's Clare Foran

Senate TV
Senate TV

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed the GOP push to swiftly confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett this evening in a floor speech ahead of the final confirmation vote.

Schumer accused Republicans of stealing the vacant Supreme Court seat, while making an apparent reference to Republicans blocking Merrick Garland, saying, “Tonight the Republican majority will make a mockery of its own stated principle that the American people deserve a voice in the selection of Supreme Court justices, completing the partisan theft of two seats on the Supreme Court, using completely contradictory rationales.” 

“After refusing a Democratic nominee to the Supreme Court because an election was eight months away, they will confirm a Republican nominee before an election that is eight days away,” Schumer said, adding, “The Republican majority is lighting its credibility on fire. This hypocritical, 180 degree turn is spectacularly obvious to the American people.”

“The American people will suffer the consequences of Judge Barrett’s far-right, out of the mainstream views for generations,” Schumer warned

Watch here:

7:20 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Murkowski says she doesn't see Barrett overturning Roe v. Wade

From CNN's Kristin Wilson

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) arrives for the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on June 9, in Washington.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) arrives for the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on June 9, in Washington. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who said on Sunday that she would now vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, told reporters she believes that Barrett would uphold Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision.

“I believe that, given how she outlined, not only to me but how she spoke to the issue of reliance when she was before the committee, I believe that she will look at that and weight that in any matters in any cases that come before her that take up Roe v. Wade,” the Alaska senator said. 

“I don't see her overturning the decision in Roe v. Wade, based on based on the weighting of other reliance factors," she said.

8:12 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Masks required during event tonight, White House says

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

The White House stands ready for President Donald Trump to watch as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will administer the Constitutional Oath to Amy Coney Barrett on the South Lawn of the White House White House in Washington later tonight.
The White House stands ready for President Donald Trump to watch as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will administer the Constitutional Oath to Amy Coney Barrett on the South Lawn of the White House White House in Washington later tonight. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

The audience will be socially distanced at Judge Amy Coney Barrett's expected confirmation event tonight, a White House official tells CNN.  

Masks will also be required and those near President Trump will be tested beforehand, the official said.

5:01 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Here's a look at the major petitions awaiting Barrett in her first week

From CNN's Devan Cole, Ariane de Vogue and Caroline Kelly

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee for Supreme Court, poses for a photo before a meeting at the United States Capitol Building on October 1, in Washington.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee for Supreme Court, poses for a photo before a meeting at the United States Capitol Building on October 1, in Washington. Anna Moneymaker - Pool/Getty Images

Amy Coney Barrett is preparing to join the Supreme Court as the justices are ready to take action on a number of important petitions before them, including several related to next week's election.

Barrett will solidify a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court and will be able to participate in the court's action on the petitions, potentially giving Republican litigants an additional ally as the justices review the various requests.

Here's a look at the major petitions awaiting Barrett:

Trump taxes case: The justices are primed to decide soon whether a New York prosecutor will get access to Trump's financial documents from January 2011 to August 2019, including his tax returns.

Pennsylvania ballot extensions: Republicans in Pennsylvania asked the Supreme Court on Friday to block a ballot receipt extension that would allow them to be counted if they are received within three days of Election Day — even if they do not have a legible postmark.

Wisconsin ballot counting and requests: Three Wisconsin petitions before the court concern Democrats who are asking the justices to allow the counting of ballots six days after the election and whether Covid-19 vulnerable voters and others in the state can secure replacement mail-in ballots by email.

Minnesota congressional election date: A Republican candidate for Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District is asking the justices to intervene in a case concerning whether his election takes place on Nov. 3 or on Feb. 9, after the recent death of Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate Adam Weeks caused the contest to be moved to next year as required by state law.

Mississippi abortion case: As abortion rights backers and opponents spar over whether Barrett's confirmation would mean the end of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision, the justices will consider Friday whether or not to hear a case that could directly consider the precedent. The case pertains to Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban, which Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law in 2018. The law made exceptions only for medical emergencies or cases in which there's a "severe fetal abnormality," but not for incidents of rape or incest. A federal judge in Mississippi struck down the law in November 2018, and the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling late last year.

4:46 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Pence says he will head back to DC "in case" his vote is needed for Barrett confirmation

From CNN’s Daniella Diaz

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a "Make America Great Again!" campaign event at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford, Michigan, on October 22.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a "Make America Great Again!" campaign event at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford, Michigan, on October 22. Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence just wrapped his only event today in Hibbing, Minnesota. He deplaned Air Force Two with a face mask and waved to the crowd from the top of the stairs. He then jogged to the podium. 

Once his remarks wrapped, Pence stepped from behind the podium and put his face mask and returned to Air Force Two. 

On today’s Senate confirmation vote for Judge Amy Coney Barret, Pence said, “I’m going to head back to Washington, DC, just in case they need my vote.”

4:03 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Justice Clarence Thomas will administer oath to Barrett tonight, senior official says

From CNN's Pamela Brown

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas poses for the official group photo at the US Supreme Court in Washington, on November 30, 2018.
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas poses for the official group photo at the US Supreme Court in Washington, on November 30, 2018. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Following her expected confirmation by the Senate, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will administer the official Constitutional Oath to Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the White House tonight, a senior White House official tells CNN.