Oct 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Schumer: Coney Barrett vote "one of the darkest days" in Senate history

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday "will go down as one of the darkest days" in Senate history, moments before the chamber voted 52-48 to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

The bottom line: Schumer said his Republican colleagues "decided to thwart the will of the people" by holding the vote eight days ahead of the presidential election, despite opposing President Obama's nominee because it was an election year.

  • "I want to be very clear with my Republican colleagues," Schumer said. "You may win this vote ... but you will never, never get your credibility back."
  • "And the next time the American people give Democrats a majority in this chamber, you will have forfeited the right to tell us how to run that majority. You may win this vote, but in the process, you will speed the precipitous decline of faith in our institution, our politics, the Senate and the Supreme Court."

What he's saying: "My colleagues may regret this for a lot longer than they think. Here at this late hour, at the end of this sordid chapter in the history of the Senate, the history of the Supreme Court, my deepest and greatest sadness is for the American people," Schumer said. 

  • "It will go down as one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate."

The other side: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Democrats oppose the nomination because "they don't like the outcome."

  • "What this administration and this Republican Senate has done is exercise the power that was given to us by the American people in a manner that is entirely within the rules of the Senate and the Constitution of the United States," McConnell said.
  • "Elections come and go. Political power is never permanent, but the consequences could be cataclysmic if our colleagues across the aisle let partisan passions boil over and scorch the ground rules of our government."

The state of play: The Senate confirmed Coney Barrett's nomination on Monday, solidifying a 6-3 conservative majority in the court.

  • She will be immediately thrust into some of the body's most consequential decisions, including which votes to count in the presidential election and the fate of the Affordable Care Act.
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