The Senate of United States must confirm this Monday the nomination to the Supreme court of a judge chosen by Donald Trump, who will thus be able to boast, eight days before the presidential elections, of having consolidated the conservative majority in the highest court for a considerable time.
Behind his rival Joe Biden in the polls, the Republican president had appointed the magistrate Amy Coney Barrett, a 48-year-old fervent conservative Catholic, to succeed the progressive and feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg after his death.
Trump is counting on Barrett’s confirmation to satisfy his electoral base. He will be the third conservative judge to elevate the temple of American law during his tenure.
Democrats denounce the president’s willingness to carry out such a fundamental nomination – judges are appointed for life – so close to the November 3 vote, but they have few tools to stop it.
Republicans have a majority in the Senate, at least until the November elections, where in addition to the president, Americans will also renew part of Congress.
In an unusual weekend session, the senators swept, with 51 votes to 48, a final hurdle in the procedure to limit the length of the debates.
This opens the way for a solemn vote in plenary on Monday for the candidacy of Amy Coney Barrett, already approved in the commission in charge. A simple majority of 51 votes, in Republican hands, will suffice.
“Tomorrow night, we will have a new member of the United States Supreme Court,” Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said after the session Sunday, ending calls from Democrats to await the results of the general election. .
Six against three
Republicans “oversee the most partisan, most hypocritical, least legitimate process in the history of Supreme Court nominations,” his Democratic alter ego Chuck Schumer had told him, recalling that McConnell himself had refused in 2016 to allow the hearings. of a judge appointed by the then president, Barack Obama, on the pretext that the elections were very close.
The pro-government camp rallied behind the one chosen by Trump. Although two Republican senators voiced their opposition to the speed with which Barrett’s nomination process is proceeding, one of them, Lisa Murkowski, anticipated over the weekend that it would not prevent voting for the magistrate.
“I lost the procedural battle,” but “I have nothing against her as a person,” he said.
The rise of Judge Barrett will significantly shift the balance of the high court, with a conservative majority of six justices versus three more progressive.
This mother of seven children opposed to abortion will be able, except for an unforeseen event, to participate in her first hearing since November 2, the eve of the presidential election.
Therefore, theoretically, it could have to rule if the court were to evaluate eventual appeals against the results of the vote in elections that define the political future of the president who appointed her to the post.
The Supreme Court decides in the United States on the thorniest issues in society, from abortion to carrying weapons, passing through the rights of sexual minorities.
Democrats warned that Barrett would end up voting to dismantle Obamacare, which has helped millions of Americans obtain health insurance, and perhaps help overturn the Roe v. Wade law, which represents the landmark 1973 decision to protect the right to abortion.
The Supreme Court must in fact examine on November 10 an appeal against that emblematic law of the former Democratic president, about which the judge expressed her reservations in the past.