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Judge Amy Coney Barrett before a meeting on Capitol Hill on Oct. 21. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate voted 52-48 on Monday to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. She is expected to be sworn in within hours.

Why it matters: President Trump and Senate Republicans have succeeded in confirming a third conservative justice in just four years, tilting the balance of the Supreme Court firmly to the right for perhaps a generation.

  • The vote, which comes 38 days after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and just eight days before Election Day, capped off a confirmation process that Senate Democrats widely condemned as "illegitimate."
  • The transformation of the Supreme Court could be Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's defining legacy. It could also be the prelude to major court reforms if Democrats win the White House and Senate.

Worth noting: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) was the sole Republican to vote against Barrett's confirmation.

What to watch: Barrett could weigh in immediately on election-related cases piling up, including emergency petitions on extending deadlines for counting absentee ballots.

  • Moments before the vote began, the Supreme Court announced it had rejected Wisconsin Democrats' request to reinstate an extension of the deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3.
  • Trump has previously said he wants nine justices on the Supreme Court in case it has to decide the results of the 2020 election.

The court is also scheduled to hear a case on LGBTQ rights and religious freedom on Nov. 4, followed by Nov. 10 arguments on the Affordable Care Act.

  • Democrats framed their opposition to Barrett largely around the ACA case, arguing that Trump wants her on the court to strike down President Obama's signature health care law and strip away pre-existing conditions protections for millions of Americans.
  • During her confirmation hearings, Barrett defended a past writing in which she criticized Chief Justice John Roberts' opinion upholding the ACA in 2012, insisting that she is "not hostile" toward the law or any other statute passed by Congress.

The other side: Joe Biden told "60 Minutes" this week that, if elected, he would put together a bipartisan commission to study the federal court system and make recommendations for reform — a response to pressure from progressives to expand the Supreme Court in retaliation for Barrett's confirmation.

  • The announcement came after Biden told an ABC town hall audience that he would come out with a clear position on court packing by Nov. 3, but that his answer would depend on how Barrett's confirmation is "handled."

Go deeper: How Amy Coney Barrett will make an immediate impact

Go deeper

How Dems could notch tech wins even with a dysfunctional Senate

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Tech policy may be one area where Democrats will be able to smash through the logjam forming around their razor-thin Senate margin and actually pass meaningful legislation.

The big picture: Many Democrats want to hit Big Tech with new antitrust laws, updates to Section 230, privacy legislation and more. The party may be united enough on such issues — and able to peel off GOP support — to pass laws around them even as the Senate's 50-50 party-line split and shifting priorities imperil other legislative possibilities.

McConnell defends filibuster: "You don’t destroy the Senate for fleeting advantage"

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday condemned Democratic support for abolishing the legislative filibuster, arguing that it would create a "scorched-earth Senate."

Why it matters: Many Democrats are pushing to use their newfound majority to eliminate the 60-vote threshold needed for major legislation, which would make it easier to pass progressive priorities. Resistance from Republicans and moderate Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (W.V.) has made that unlikely.

Most Senate Republicans join Rand Paul effort to dismiss Trump's 2nd impeachment trial

Photo: Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images

Forty-five Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, supported an effort to dismiss former President Trump's second impeachment trial.

Why it matters: The vote serves as a precursor to how senators will approach next month's impeachment trial, making it highly unlikely the Senate will vote to convict. The House impeached Trump for a second time for "incitement of insurrection" following events from Jan 6. when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.