Senin, 26 Oktober 2020

‘Darkest US Day’: Amy Coney Barrett appointed in big win for Trump -

Following her death, the family of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg revealed that her dying wish was that she not be replaced before the election.

“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” the 87-year-old told her granddaughter, according to NPR, days before she lost her battle with cancer in September.

It’s a wish that, just a week out from election day, US President Donald Trump has steamrolled: his nominee, conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett, was confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate today, voted through by a 52-48 Republican majority. Susan Collins of Maine was the only Republican senator to side with the Democrats in opposing Judge Barrett’s confirmation.

“It is highly fitting that Judge Amy Coney Barrett fills the seat of a true pioneer for women, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg,” Mr Trump said following the vote, adding it was “very important” because she’s “the very first mother of school-aged children to become a Supreme Court justice”.

Judge Barrett’s confirmation will not only go down in history as one of the quickest – taking place 30 days after her nomination and seven days before the presidential election – but also, Democratic senator of New York and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate”.

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“Let the records show that tonight the Republican Senate Majority decided to thwart the will of the people and confirm a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court in the middle of a presidential election after more than 60 million Americans have voted,” he said.

“Let the record show that tonight the Republican Majority will break 231 years of precedent and become the first majority to confirm a Supreme Court justice this close to Election Day.

“And let the record show that 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.

“And let the record show that the American people, their lives and rights and freedoms, will suffer the consequences of this nomination for a generation.”

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The decisions of the Supreme Court impact the lives of all Americans.

The court is intended as one of the checks and balances in the American Constitution, with the judiciary ensuring that neither the executive (the President) or the legislature (Congress) wields too much power.

Some of the significant issues facing the nation’s population have been impacted by decisions of the Supreme Court, including the desegregation of public schools in 1954 and the case of Roe vs Wade in 1973, confirming that a woman’s freedom to choose to have an abortion was protected by the US Constitution.

As a result of the court’s power and influence, the appointment of judges, which is in the hands of the president, is a very big deal.

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Judge Barrett is the third appointment Mr Trump has made to the Supreme Court – which consists of nine judges, appointed for life or until they choose to retire – in four years.

She follows Neil Gorsuch, appointed in 2017, and Brett Kavanaugh, appointed in 2018.

The other members include Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, both nominated by Barack Obama and appointed in 2010 and 2009 respectively; Samuel A Alito Jr, nominated and appointed by George W. Bush in 2006; Stephen G Breyer, nominated and appointed by Bill Clinton in 1994 and Clarence Thomas, nominated and appointed by George Bush in 1991.

John G Roberts is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, nominated and appointed by George Bush in 2005.

The Republicans have now locked in a 6-3 conservative majority on the nation’s most powerful court.

Judge Barrett is now required to take two oaths before she can begin serving – and given that the Court is scheduled to be in session in the next few days, hearing arguments on cases regarding the future of the Affordable Care Act and LGBTQ rights, it’s likely she’ll be sworn in quickly.

Following the vote, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the constitutional oath to Judge Barrett, with the judicial oath yet to come.

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The 48-year-old, who became a federal judge in 2017, is a devout Catholic who is firmly against abortion, and is a member of a community called the People of Praise, which believes – among other things – that men have authority over their wives.

There are fears that, with her on the Supreme Court, rulings on human rights issues such as access to abortion and LGBTQ rights will become more conservative.

According to Republican senator of South Carolina, Judge Barrett is also, “without any doubt”, “one of the most gifted people to ever be nominated to the Supreme Court”.

“Forget about what politicians say about Judge Barrett, forget about what people – who don’t recognise first that Trump is being a legitimate president – say about Judge Barrett. Forget about what I say if you want to,” he said following her confirmation.

“Look at what people who work with her said. In the law business, that know her individually, that have worked with her as a judge, as a professor.”

Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Judge Barrett’s confirmation and her lifetime appointment was an “important contribution” made to “the future of this country”.

“A lot of what we’ve done over the last four years will be undone sooner or later by the next election,” he said during his Senate-floor speech.

“They won’t be able to do much about this for a long time to come.”

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2020-10-27 03:09:25Z

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