Updated Oct 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Republicans and Dems react to Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation

President Donald Trump stands with newly sworn in U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett during a ceremonial swearing-in event on the South Lawn of the White House
President Trump stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice during a White House ceremony Monday night. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump said Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court and her subsequent taking of the constitutional oath Monday was a "momentous day," as she she vowed to serve "without any fear or favor."

Of note: As Republicans applauded the action, Democratic leaders warned of consequences to the rush to replace the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a conservative so close to the election, as progressives led calls to expand the court.

What they're saying:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement, "Eight days from Election Day, after 60 million Americans have already cast their ballots, President Trump and the GOP Senate have committed an act of supreme desperation by jamming through a Supreme Court justice — all so that they can achieve their years-long campaign to destroy Americans' health care. 

"Now, Americans must continue to make their voices heard in the election.  Congress will have to reverse the damage of a radical Republican court and defend pre-existing condition protections together with every other benefit and protection of the Affordable Care Act."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor, "Voting to confirm this nominee should make every single senator proud. ... Our Democratic colleagues keep repeating the word illegitimate as if repetition would make it true. We're a constitutional republic. Legitimacy does not flow from their feelings."

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said in an emailed statement, "The rushed and unprecedented confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as Associate Justice to the Supreme Court, in the middle of an ongoing election, should be a stark reminder to every American that your vote matters."

The Trump campaign said in an emailed statement that Barrett is "now the third solid, conservative Justice appointed to the Supreme Court by the President and she will apply the Constitution and not turn the Court into a super legislature."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate floor the 52-48 vote to confirm Barrett "will go down as one of the darkest days" in Senate history.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in the Senate before the vote, "For the young, conservative women out there who are pro-life and embrace faith, there's a seat at the table for you. This is historic."

Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee tweeted, "Senate Republicans just pushed through a Supreme Court justice who will help them take away Americans' health care in the middle of a pandemic. For them, this is victory. Vote them out."

The House Judiciary GOP said in a Twitter post, "Amy Coney Barrett, confirmed. Happy Birthday, @HillaryClinton!"

Progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) both called on Democrats to "expand the court" if Biden wins the election (the former vice president has said he'd assemble a bipartisan commission to study the federal court system and make recommendations for reform).

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), tweeted that for religious conservatives, Barrett's confirmation "is a landmark — an openly pro-life woman of faith who did not back down under pressure."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in a fund-raising email that Republicans "stole another Supreme Court seat just eight days before the end of the election, after tens of millions of Americans had already cast their ballots, and just 15 days before the Supreme Court will hear a case that could overturn the Affordable Care Act," per the New York Times.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) tweeted, "Democrats, mad. Constitution, protected. Amy Coney Barrett, confirmed."

Go deeper: Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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