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Amy Coney Barrett confirmed as Supreme Court Justice

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President Donald Trump and Amy Coney Barrett stand on the Blue Room Balcony after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the Constitutional Oath to her on the South Lawn of the White House (Alex Brandon/AP)

President Donald Trump and Amy Coney Barrett stand on the Blue Room Balcony after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the Constitutional Oath to her on the South Lawn of the White House (Alex Brandon/AP)

President Donald Trump and Amy Coney Barrett stand on the Blue Room Balcony after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the Constitutional Oath to her on the South Lawn of the White House (Alex Brandon/AP)

Republicans celebrated the confirmation of judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday - her lifetime seat is a major last-minute political victory for President Donald Trump.

No nominee to the Supreme Court has ever been confirmed by the Senate this close to a presidential election.

Barrett is Trump's third appointee -- and she cements a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court.

"It is highly fitting that Justice Barrett fills the seat of a true pioneer for women, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg."

Barrett was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas after a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate that approved her along party lines, 52 to 48.

Only one Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, opposed the confirmation.

Monday's ceremony saw more people wear masks and seats being spread out to ensure social distancing, in stark contrast to Barrett's nomination just one month ago.

That event has since been linked to a COVID-19 outbreak among some Republican lawmakers -- and it also preceded Trump's own infection.

"This is the most rank hypocrisy I have ever seen in anything politically."

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But many Democrats, including Senator Brian Schatz, continued to rail against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during the debate over Barrett's confirmation.

Schatz pointed to 2016, when McConnell refused to hold a Senate vote for President Obama's Supreme Court pick, Merrick Garland, a full eight months before the presidential contest.

"Inside of this body your word is supposed to count for something. It's not supposed to be about the maximal use of power, and tricking each other, and tricking the public."

Barrett, a favorite of Christian conservatives, has criticized previous rulings upholding the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, but said during her hearings she had no agenda to invalidate the measure - something Democrats say would result in millions of Americans losing health insurance.

Barrett is expected to participate in an upcoming case on November 10th, in which Trump and Republican-led states are seeking to overturn Obamacare.


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