US President Donald Trump peppered his nominee Amy Coney Barrett's vindication to the Supreme Court as "a decisive day for America, in a decorum coming just eight days before the presidential election.
This is a momentous day for America, for the United States Constitution and for the fair and impartial rule of law, the president, standing alongside Barrett, said before gleaming lawmakers and others who had congregated on the South Lawn of the White House.
I stand here tonight, truly honored and humbled, Barrett, a religious orthodox, said shortly after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas conducted the constitutional oath.
The US Senate seasoned conservative jurist Amy Coney Barrett as the Supreme Court's newest justice, delivering President Donald Trump a landmark win just eight days before the election.
The deeply divided chamber voted 52 to 48, largely along party lines in the Republican-controlled Senate, making Barrett the third Trump nominee to reach the high court and fastening a six-to-three conservative majority. Republican lawmakers broke into cheer as the tally was read out, and the White House is also anticipated to celebrate the confirmation in the final run-up to the November 3 election, in which more than 60 million Americans have so far voted.
Immediately after the vote the White House declared that Trump would attend a "swearing-in ceremony" for Barrett on the mansion's South Lawn, where she will take an oath to uphold the US Constitution. Chief Justice John Roberts will conduct the judicial oath on Tuesday at the Supreme Court, formally inaugurating her term on the bench.
The process to nominate and confirm Barrett was amid the most debatable in memory, coming as it did so close to a presidential election. Democrats have argued that Republicans piously backed Barrett's nomination just 38 days before the election, in spite of refusing to hold hearings for Barack Obama's nominee in 2016 after he nominated Merrick Garland to fill a vacant seat a full eight months before that year's vote.
"You may win this vote.... But you will never ever get your credibility back," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, addressing his Republican confederates, said in a mocking floor speech.
In the process, you will speed the precipitous decline of faith in our institutions, our politics, the Senate and the Supreme Court, he added. You will give an already divided nation a fresh outrage.
While Democrats warn that Barrett could vote to gut the Affordable Care Act and perhaps overturn the landmark 1973 decision protecting abortion rights, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said she had shown a total and complete commitment to impartiality.