Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Sunday to advance Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett toward final confirmation despite Democratic objections, just over a week before the presidential election, the AP reports. The vote was 51-48. Barrett's confirmation on Monday was hardly in doubt, with majority Republicans mostly united in support behind President Trump's pick. But Democrats were poised to keep the Senate in session into the night in attempts to stall, arguing that the Nov. 3 election winner should choose the nominee to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Republicans are excited by the chance to install a third Trump justice on the court, locking in a conservative majority for years to come.
Barrett's ascent opens up a potential new era of rulings on abortion, gay marriage, and the Affordable Care Act. A case against the Obama-era health law is scheduled to be heard Nov. 10. Vice President Mike Pence would typically preside over the coming votes, but after a close aide tested positive for the COVID-19, it was unclear whether he will fulfill his role for the landmark vote. The conservative judge picked up the crucial backing Saturday from Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, one of the last GOP holdouts against filling the seat in the midst of a White House election and with more than 50 million people already having voted. Murkowski said she disliked the rush toward confirmation, but supported Trump's choice of Barrett for the high court.
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