President Donald Trump held a hasty swearing-in ceremony on Monday night following the Senate’s confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, who will become the 115th justice to serve on the Supreme Court Tuesday and immediately get to work, reports USA Today.
Just as Senate Republicans whisked Barrett, 48, through the confirmation process in a month, Trump rushed back from the campaign trail in Pennsylvania for a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in the midst of a global pandemic.
The event took place near the Rose Garden, where a month earlier the federal appeals court judge from Indiana was introduced in a crowded setting that contributed to the spread of COVID-19, both at the White House and in the Senate.
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, the longest-serving member of the current court, delivered the constitutional oath of office. Most of the assembled guests wore masks. On Tuesday, Chief Justice John Roberts will complete the process by delivering the judicial oath to the court’s newest member.
The ceremony followed the Senate’s 52-48 confirmation vote shortly after 8:00pm, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called Barrett ‘a woman of unparalleled ability and temperament.’
‘I stand here tonight truly honoured and humbled,’ Barrett said during the 15-minute event, flags draping the White House behind her. ‘This was a rigorous confirmation process.’
As she did during her confirmation hearing earlier this month, Barrett tried to distance herself and the judiciary from the politics swirling around her nomination and the presidential election.
‘It is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences. It would be a dereliction of duty for her to give in to them,’ she said.
Once she takes the judicial oath Tuesday from Roberts, Barrett will become the fifth woman ever to serve on the high court, succeeding the late liberal Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She will begin work a week before Election Day, participate in her first conference with the other justices Friday, and take her place on the bench for oral arguments next Monday.
Joe Biden hits out at the appointment of Barrett, a week from election day.
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