Justice Clarence Thomas swore in Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Monday evening, replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The addition of Barrett cements a 6-3 majority of conservative justices to the Court bench. Barrett was sworn in at an outdoor ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House, with President Trump presiding over the proceedings.
“Her impeccable credentials were unquestioned, unchallenged, and obvious to all” during her confirmation hearings, Trump said in a speech.
Barrett clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, and has indicated that she would approach rulings with the same originalist judicial philosophy as her former mentor. Over the course of her confirmation hearings, Barrett also made clear that she would not impose her own ideological preferences on her legal work.
“It is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences,” Barrett said in a speech at the Rose Garden ceremony. “This separation of duty from political preference is what makes the judiciary distinct among the three branches of government.”
The president had vowed to confirm a new justice to the Court before the November elections, sparking intense backlash from Democrats. While Democratic senators attempted to scupper the confirmation by using procedural delay tactics, Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Il.) conceded early in October that the party would most likely fail to stop Barrett’s appointment.
The Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Barrett, with Susan Collins of Maine the only Republican in opposition. Collins is in the midst of a difficult reelection campaign in a state where voters have soured on President Trump, and has repeatedly stated her opposition to a confirmation vote so close to the general election in November.
All Democratic senators voted against Barrett’s confirmation.