Judge Amy Coney Barret Selected as Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

Jack O'Donnell, News Editor

By Jack O’Donnell

News Editor

   President Trump announced that Judge Amy Coney Barret is his nominee for the vacant Supreme Court seat on September 26, eight days after the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

   According to the Supreme Court website, the Presidential nomination is the first step to selecting a new Supreme Court Justice. In order to be appointed, Barret must be confirmed by a majority vote in the Senate. Justices hold office as long as they choose, provided they are not removed by impeachment (supremecourt.gov). 

   According to CNBC News, it appears that the president will be able to count on the Republican majority in the Senate to confirm Barret. Republicans hold 53 seats in the Senate, needing only fifty of those votes since Vice President Mike Pence can cast a tie breaking vote (cnbc.com).

   CNN Editor Chris Cillizza said, “Ginsburg’s death creates what many conservatives view as a once in a generation opportunity to move the makeup of the court from its current lineup of five conservative justices to four liberal justices to a more dominant 6-3 majority” (cnn.com).

   According to Fox News, President Trump has already appointed two Supreme Court Justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Gorsuch replaced Antonin Scalia, a very conservative justice, and the appointment of Kavanaugh pushed the court in a more conservative direction (foxnews.com).

   President Trump’s nomination comes a few weeks before election day on November 3, according to The New York Times. If the race is close, a presidential winner may not be called on election night (nytimes.com). 

   According to CNN, there was controversy in the spring of 2016 when Barack Obama, then President of the United States, nominated Merrick Garland to fill the seat left by the passing of Scalia. Republican Leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell insisted that Garland would not receive a Senate floor vote or a confirmation hearing. McConnell cited that because Obama’s term was coming to an end in 2016, it should be the next President to select the new justice. “Of course the American people should have a say in the court’s direction,” McConnell said at the time (cnn.com).

   Senior Luciano Wells says, “I believe that the Senate should not vote for the Supreme Court Justice until after the election. The votes and voices of the American people should be heard.”

   According to CBS News, “In his statement [on September 18], McConnell argued that it was not hypocritical to vote on a vacancy so close to the election after refusing to do so four years earlier, as the Republican Party now controls both the Senate and the White House” (cbsnews.com). 

   Although many Republican Senators have overwhelmingly supported Trump’s nomination, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski calls it a “double standard.” “If we now say that months prior to the election is okay when nine months was not, that is a double standard and I don’t believe we should do it,” Murkowski said (cbsnews.com).