The US Senate has confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in a victory for President Donald Trump a week before the general election.
Trump’s fellow Republicans voted to approve the judge, overcoming the unified opposition of Democrats.
Barrett, 48, is expected to take the oath of office at the White House on Monday night.
Her appointment seals for the foreseeable future a 6-3 conservative majority on the top US judicial body.
Only one Republican – Senator Susan Collins, who faces a tough re-election battle in Maine – voted against the president’s nominee in Monday evening’s vote.
Judge Barrett is the third justice appointed by the Republican president, after Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
The federal appeals court judge from Indiana fills the vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon who died last month.
What happened at the White House?
Trump, just returned from campaigning in Pennsylvania, presided over Justice Barrett’s swearing-in ceremony at the White House shortly after the confirmation vote came through.
“This is a momentous day for America, for the United States constitution and for the fair and impartial rule of law,” he said.
“She is one of our nation’s most brilliant legal scholars and she will make an outstanding justice on the highest court in our land.”
Conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the oath of office to his new colleague.
SOURCE – RADIO NZ