Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as the 115th Supreme Court justice Monday, elevating a disciple of the late Justice Antonin Scalia to succeed liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg and establishing a broad conservative majority for the first time since the 1930s, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Senate vote to confirm Barrett was 52-48, with only one GOP senator, Susan Collins of Maine, joining Democrats in voting against the nominee. Barrett, 48, is the fifth woman appointed to the Supreme Court, and the first by a Republican president since Sandra Day O’Connor in 1981.
Like Scalia, Barrett is an originalist and a textualist, applying the Constitution according to her understanding of what its language meant when adopted. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and other Democrats warned Republicans that moving ahead with the nomination could spark retaliation if control of the Senate changes hands. Some Democratic activists are pushing the idea of expanding the size of the court to add liberal judges. “There will be consequences,” Blumenthal said. No Democrat voted to confirm Barrett, making it the first time a Supreme Court nominee has been confirmed without a single vote from a major minority party since 1869. There are several emergency requests pending at the court, including election procedure disputes from the battleground states of North Carolina and Pennsylvania, and a request from President Donald Trump that the court temporarily stop a subpoena from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. seeking the president’s private financial records, the Washington Post reports.