Senate approves Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to Supreme Court, WH to hold ceremony

BY: TRISH TURNER AND DEVIN DWYER, ABC NEWS

(WASHINGTON) — Following the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the White House will host a ceremony where Justice Clarence Thomas is expected to administer the official constitutional oath to Barrett at 9 p.m. Monday.

Supreme Court justices are required to take two oaths before they may execute the duties of their appointed office: the constitutional oath and the judicial oath. Recent tradition holds that at least one of the oaths is taken at the court itself.

Earlier Monday, President Donald Trump said the White House would “probably” host an event “later on this evening” if Barrett was confirmed.

“Not a large event,” he said. “Just a very nice event.”

Face coverings will be required for all those attending, a senior White House official said in a statement, and the seated audience will be socially distanced on the South Lawn. People “in close proximity” to the president will be tested in advance.

The White House has declined to comment on the number of attendees.

The Senate floor vote began shortly before 8 p.m. and the vote was 52-48. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was the lone Republican to join the Democrats who unanimously voted against the confirmation.

On Sunday, senators voted along party lines to quash a Democratic filibuster of Barrett to replace the late liberal icon, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, joined Democrats in the vote.

Murkowski had initially opposed moving a nominee so close to the election, saying “fair is fair” given that her own party had blockaded President Barack Obama’s pick in 2016 to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia eight months before the election, but with Republicans securing the necessary votes for confirmation, Murkowski has changed course.

“While I oppose the process that has led us to this point,” Murkowski said in a Saturday floor speech. “I do not hold it against her as an individual who has navigated the gauntlet with grace, skill and humility.”

That move left Collins alone among the GOP opposition who voted against Barrett on Monday. Collins is in an extremely difficult fight for reelection in a moderate state where she has been lambasted for her past support of conservative jurists, including Trump’s highly contentious nominee, Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

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