The U.S. Senate on Sunday voted to advance President Donald Trump's nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, paving the way for a full Senate confirmation vote probably to happen on Monday.
US Senate Hearing for Trump's Supreme Court Nominee Kicks Off
Sunday's procedural vote meant to break a Democratic filibuster in the Republican-controlled upper chamber, where the GOP senators needed only a simple majority to advance the nomination, and the result was 51-48.
If confirmed, which is all but assured given the Republican resolve to do so, Judge Barrett, a conservative, will be a Supreme Court justice who has gone through one of the quickest confirmation proceedings in modern U.S. history, replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon.
Democrats opposed the installation of Barrett on the high court for the lifelong tenure, citing the proximity to the Nov. 3 presidential election.
Having grilled Barrett over issues from Obamacare and abortion rights during the 48-year-old appellate court judge's confirmation hearings earlier this month, Senate Democrats, however, conceded that they didn't have the tools to prevent the Republicans from speeding up the process.
Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was one of just two GOP senators who opposed a full Senate vote on the Barrett nomination, but she announced Saturday she will vote yes if the Senate does take up a vote.
Susan Collins, a Republican senator from Maine who also expressed concerns that the nomination was too close to the election, is still expected to vote not to confirm Barrett.