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Judge Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas Monday night at the White House. The Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Barrett, making her the first Supreme Court justice in modern history to be confirmed without bipartisan support. Her confirmation gives the Supreme Court a 6-3 conservative majority a week before the 2020 presidential election; the court's future quickly became a hot-button election issue following her nomination.
Coverage from right-rated outlets tended to frame Barrett as highly capable; some framed her confirmation as history-making, and part of Trump's effort to make a lasting conservative impact on politics. Coverage from left- and center-rated outlets also framed Barrett's nomination as indication of a new "conservative era" for the Supreme Court, highlighting the potential impact her appointment will have on healthcare and reproductive rights issues.
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Snippets from the Center
"The confirmation vote was the closest in U.S. history to an Election Day in a presidential race. Trump at a White House ceremony after the vote said that as the president he has "no more solemn obligation and no greater honor than to appoint Supreme Court justices." Justice Clarence Thomas administered the constitutional oath to Barrett, to the applause of a small group of supporters including her husband, Jesse, and several GOP senators. Supreme Court justices also need to take the judicial oath prior to working in the role."
The Conversation (Analysis)
"Originalism is the idea that we should interpret the Constitution with its original meaning. But what, exactly, is the Constitution’s “original meaning”? Some originalists argue it’s the meaning as understood by those who ratified the Constitution in the various state conventions, or the public that elected those ratifiers. Others say it’s the understanding of a reasonable, well-educated reader. Still other scholars claim the Constitution is written in legal language and should be interpreted with its original “legal” meaning."
Snippets from the Left
"Barrett, 48, a federal appeals judge, will fill the seat left vacant by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the liberal icon who died Sept. 18, and Barrett is expected to propel a sharp ideological turn on the court...Some legal experts say it will be the most conservative Supreme Court since before World War II. The addition of Barrett could solidify the right’s advantages on issues like campaign finance and gun rights while threatening progressive issues like abortion rights, voting rights and health care regulations."
"Even though she didn’t answer any of her questions, we know who Barrett is and what she will do on the court. She is exactly who she has always been, who she was seated to become, and if you are worried for your children, for the planet, for the future of anti-racism and LGBTQ rights and voting rights, your worry is not misplaced."
Snippets from the Right
"CNN and MSNBC did not air Monday night’s Senate confirmation vote for Amy Coney Barrett, a historic moment making her only the fifth woman to sit on the Supreme Court. The two cable channels did not cover the 52-48 vote in the Senate, but CNN aired the swearing-in ceremony later at the White House by Justice Clarence Thomas."
David Harsanyi for National Review (Opinion)
"Ahead of the Barrett vote, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer claimed this “will go down as one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate.”...To be fair, Schumer argued that a resolution against Trump’s removal earlier this year was also “one of the darker moments in Senate history” and also that passage of the watered-down Republican tax-reform passage was “one of the darkest . . . days in the long history of this Senate.” So, basically, any time Chuck Schumer loses is the new darkest day in history."