Sunday’s vote limited debate over President Trump’s court appointee to 30 hours, meaning the full Senate will be able to hold a confirmation vote Monday beginning at approximately 7:26 p.m. ET.
“Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is a stellar nominee in every single respect,” Senate Majority Leader McConnell said on the Senate floor following the vote. “Her intellectual brilliance is unquestioned. Her command of the law is remarkable. Her integrity is above reproach.”
Two Republicans voted against ending debate, Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Murkowski has, however, indicated that she will vote to confirm Barrett.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., railed against his Republicans for swiftly moving to fill a court vacancy in the weeks before a presidential election, after refusing to do the same when there was a vacancy early in the final year of President Barack Obama’s presidency.
“Republicans promised they’d follow their own standard if the situation was reversed,” Schumer said. “Guess not.”
Democrats took to Twitter to voice their opposition prior to voting against moving forward with the confirmation process.
“Judge Barrett’s nomination poses a direct threat to members of the LGBT community,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., pointing to an upcoming Supreme Court case dealing with adoption in the LGBT community.
Previously, Supreme Court justices needed to clear a 60-vote threshold to advance to the high court, a tradition that forced nominees to win bipartisan support. But McConnell changed the standard in 2017 to allow for a simple majority, a move that allowed for the confirmation of President Trump’s previous two nominees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., first eliminated the 60-vote threshold in 2013 to overcome GOP stonewalling of President Obama’s nominations to the lower courts and the executive branch. Known as invoking the “nuclear option” at the time, Reid kept the higher standard in place for the Supreme Court.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., claimed that Barrett’s confirmation would jeopardize the Affordable Care Act, a talking point many Democrats made during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Confirming Amy Coney Barrett—who actively opposes the ACA—would be devastating for millions of Americans,” Blumenthal tweeted. “Just ask my constituents who would face real harm in real ways if the Supreme Court guts the ACA.”
Barrett has not indicated to anyone how she might rule if given the opportunity to sit on the court when oral arguments are presented over the future of the ACA in November. She has criticized the 2012 Supreme Court opinion that upheld the law by deeming the penalty attached to the individual mandate to be a tax. Despite this, Barrett pointed out that the current case hinges on separate issues.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.