Justice Clarence Thomas Swears Amy Coney Barrett in to Supreme Court at Rose Garden Ceremony
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas presided over a swearing-in ceremony in the White House Rose Garden on Monday for Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who was confirmed by the Senate earlier earlier in the evening as the Supreme Court’s newest justice.
The 48-year-old circuit court judge will fill the position held by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died September 18 at age 87 as a result of complications arising from metastatic pancreatic cancer.
The Senate confirmed Barrett in a vote held just more than a month later, with 52 Republicans voting in favor of her nomination. Just one, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, voted against Barrett, citing the proximity of the vote to the November election.
“Prior to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, I stated that, should a vacancy on the Supreme Court arise, the Senate should follow the precedent set four years ago and not vote on a nominee prior to the presidential election,” Collins said in a Sunday statement. “Because this vote is occurring prior to the election, I will vote against the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.”
Another Republican, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, voted Sunday to support an unsuccessful Democratic filibuster that would block Barrett’s nomination, citing the same rationale. However, Murkowski supported the final vote to confirm Barrett based on the “merits of her qualifications.”
Barrett represents Trump’s third appointee to the court after Neil Gorsuch, who was confirmed in 2017, and Brett Kavanaugh, confirmed in 2018. She will be the fifth woman to serve on the court in history, alongside both of former President Barack Obama’s appointees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Her confirmation also gave conservatives a 6-3 advantage in appointees to the court, their strongest majority since Sotomayor’s confirmation in 2009. Republican appointees held no fewer than seven of the court’s nine seats for the 34 preceding years, since President Gerald Ford solidified the GOP majority with his 1975 appointment of Justice John Paul Stevens.
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