President Donald Trump on Saturday (September 26) nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, and she pledged to become a justice in the mold of the late staunch conservative Antonin Scalia – another milestone in Trump’s rightward shift of the top U.S. judicial body.
If confirmed by the Senate to replace liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died at age 87 on Sept. 18, Barrett would become the fifth woman ever to serve on the court and would push its conservative majority to a commanding 6-3.
Democrats are still furious over McConnell’s 2016 refusal to consider President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland because it came during an election year. This marks the first time since 1956 that a U.S. president has moved to fill a Supreme Court vacancy so close to an election.
Barrett is expected to begin the traditional courtesy calls on individual senators on Tuesday. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings will begin Oct. 12, Trump said.
Democrats are set to make the fate of the Obamacare healthcare law a key part of the confirmation fight.
Barrett could be on the bench for the court’s Nov. 10 oral arguments in a case in which Trump and fellow Republicans are seeking to invalidate the 2010 law, formally called the Affordable Care Act.
“Justice Ginsburg must be turning over in her grave up in heaven,” top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said, “to see that the person they chose seems to be intent on undoing all the things that Ginsburg did.”