Trump-appointed judge approaches Supreme Court

Trump-appointed judge approaches Supreme Court
Trump-appointed judge approaches Supreme Court

A first milestone has been reached in the process of appointing Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court (archives). KEYSTONE / AP / Susan Walsh sda-ats

This content was published on October 22, 2020 – 19:59

October 22, 2020 – 7:59 PM


The Senate on Thursday crossed a first milestone in the confirmation of the judge appointed by Donald to the Supreme Court. The Democrats were not present: they boycotted a process deemed “illegitimate” so close to the November 3 poll.

The twelve Republican elected officials of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to transmit Amy Coney Barrett’s file to the entire upper house of Congress with a “favorable” opinion. This procedural vote paves the way for a final vote in plenary, possibly as early as Monday.

“It’s a great day for America,” tweeted Donald Trump, who is banking on the appointment of this 48-year-old magistrate, a fervent Catholic, mother of seven and opposed to abortion, to galvanize voters in the religious right. But for Democratic Senator Kamala Harris, running mate of her Democratic rival Joe Biden, “this nomination process is a shame.”

Like her nine Democratic colleagues on the judicial commission, she therefore shunned the vote on Thursday. Large photos of Americans were placed on their seats who they said could lose health coverage if Judge Barrett is upheld.

The Supreme Court is due to examine on November 10 an appeal against the emblematic law of former President Barack Obama on health insurance, “Obamacare”, on which the judge has expressed reservations in the past.

During the three days of his hearing last week, Democrats focused their attacks on this theme, which allowed them to shoot arrows at Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic and resonate with the main message. campaign campaign by Joe Biden.

They also pressed the magistrate with questions on several hot topics, including the right to abortion, the carrying of weapons or the protection of the environment. Careful, she dodged without revealing herself.

“Their choice”

For lack of other levers, the Democrats, a minority in the Senate, finally opted for the policy of the empty chair. “This is the most hasty, partisan and least legitimate confirmation process for a Supreme Court judge in history,” said their leader Chuck Schumer.

“It’s their choice, mine is to vote,” retorted the head of the judicial commission Lindsey Graham, a close friend of Donald Trump, who praised the magistrate: “a giant” of law.

The Senate will meet in the hemicycle on Friday to discuss his candidacy. Anxious to go fast, its leader Mitch McConnell aims for a final vote on Monday, eight days before the election.

Despite the announced defection of two elected Republican officials, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, Judge Barrett should obtain the green light from the Senate, essential according to the Constitution. She would then replace the progressive icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on September 18 at the age of 87, and consolidate the conservative majority in the Supreme Court (six out of nine judges).

Commission bipartisane

Its probable confirmation has revived an idea that has been circulating on the left for several months: to create new seats within the high court to counterbalance the influence of the three magistrates appointed by Donald Trump.

Unfavorable to this option during the Democratic primaries, Joe Biden leaves room for doubt. In front of CBS cameras, he suggested an alternative to reform a judicial system that he said had become “out of control”.

“If I am elected, I will set up a national commission, composed of members of both parties” and charged with making “recommendations within 180 days on a reform of the courts”, he said, according to excerpts from this interview broadcast Thursday. “It is not a question of increasing the number of judges”, he assured. “There are many other options under debate.”

Beyond Supreme Court positions, Republicans used their Senate majority to uphold conservative judges in all federal courts. More than 200 magistrates have been appointed since the election of Donald Trump, a large majority of whom are very young, which should leave a lasting mark on the country’s judicial system.

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