Barrett Confirmed

On October 26, 2020 the U.S. Senate approved President Trump's nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court by a vote of 52-48.  One Republican. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, joined Democrats,,who were united in their opposition to the vote just eight days before Election Day.  Later that evening Barrett was sworn in in a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House (C-SPAN video).


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
October 26, 2020 

McConnell Speaks Before Senate Confirms Judge Barrett

‘The Senate will render one of the most consequential judgements it can ever deliver. We will approve a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court. Since the ink dried on the Constitution, only 114 men and women have been entrusted to uphold the separation of powers, protect people’s rights, and dispense impartial justice on the Supreme Court. In a few minutes, Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana will join their ranks.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Judge Amy Coney Barrett:

“The Senate will render one of the most consequential judgements it can ever deliver.

“We will approve a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court.

“Since the ink dried on the Constitution, only 114 men and women have been entrusted to uphold the separation of powers, protect people’s rights, and dispense impartial justice on the Supreme Court.

“In a few minutes, Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana will join their ranks.

“This body has spent weeks studying the nominee’s record. We’ve examined fifteen years of scholarly writings. About one hundred opinions from the Seventh Circuit. And testimonials from legal experts running the gambit from close colleagues, to total strangers.

“There have been one on one meetings for every Senator who wanted one. And a week of intensive hearings.

“All of it has pointed to one conclusion: this is one of the most brilliant, admired, and well-qualified nominees in our lifetime. Intellectually, Judge Barrett is an absolute all-star.

“She graduated number one in her class at Notre Dame Law School. She clerked on the second highest federal court and the Supreme Court. Then she returned to her alma mater and became an award-winning academic.

“Judge Barrett’s mastery of the Constitution gives her a firm grasp on the judicial role.

“She has pledged to ‘apply the law as written, not as she wishes it were.’ Her testimony, her writings, and her reputation confirm a total commitment to impartiality.

“And the nominee’s personal integrity and strength of character are literally beyond reproach.

“She earned the highest rating from the left leaning American Bar Association.

“They marveled at the, quote, ‘breadth, diversity, and strength of the positive feedback [they] received from judges and lawyers of all political persuasions.’

“If confirmed, this daughter of Louisiana and Indiana will become the only current justice with a law degree from any school not named Harvard or Yale.

“She’d be the first mother of school-aged children to ever sit on the Court. By every account, the Supreme Court is getting not just a talented lawyer, but a fantastic person.

“We’ve heard moving testimony from former students whom Judge Barrett went out of her way to help and to mentor. Her past clerks describe an exemplary boss. Her fellow scholars describe a winsome, respectful colleague who is tailor made for the collaborative atmosphere of the Court.

“By any objective standard, Judge Barrett deserves to be confirmed to the Supreme Court.

“The American people agree. In just a few minutes, she’ll be on the Supreme Court.

Two weeks ago, a CNN journalist made this observation. ‘Let’s be honest — in another [political] age... Judge Amy Coney Barrett would be getting 70 votes or more in the U.S. Senate because of her qualifications.’

“Now, we know that’s not going to happen.

“These are not the days when Justice Scalia was confirmed 98-0 and Justice Ginsburg was confirmed 96-3. And by the way, I voted for both Ginsburg and Breyer. It seems like a long time ago now.

“We spent a lot of energy in recent weeks debating this matter. I think we can all acknowledge that both sides in the Senate have parallel oral histories about the last thirty or so years.

“Each side feels the other side struck first -- and struck worst – and has done more to electrify the atmosphere around here about confirmations.

“Now, predictably enough, I think our account is based off what actually happened. I was there, I know what happened.

“I’ve laid it out earlier, and I’ll talk about it again so the American people understand how we got to where we are.

“It was the Senate Democrats who spent the early 2000s boasting about their brand new strategy of filibustering qualified nominees from a Republican president.

“They were proud of it. They found a new way to halt the process. Stop those crazy right wing judges that Bush 43 was going to send up.

“They pioneered it because they knew what the precedent was at that point. At that point as we discussed before, it just wasn’t done. Or you could do it, but you didn’t.

“And the best evidence that you shouldn’t do it was the Clarence Thomas nomination, confirmed 52-48. And all of us know that any one of us in this body has a lot of power to object. So, if any one of the 100 senators at that time – including people who were opposed to Justice Thomas, like Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy – could have made us get 60 votes and Clarence Thomas would not have been on the Supreme Court.

“That’s how strong the tradition was, until the Democratic Leader led the effort in the early 2000s to establish the new standard.

“Well, after establishing the new standard, they got weary of it. And in 2013 the so-called nuclear option was implemented because Republicans were holding President Obama’s nominee’s to the same standard that they themselves had created.

“So, when the shoe got on the other foot they didn’t like it too much. It was too tight.

“Senate Democrats, both in 1992 and 2007, helpfully volunteered how they would have dealt with a nominee like we did in 2016.

“The then-Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Joe Biden, helpfully volunteered in 1992 when Bush 41 was running for re-election, that had a vacancy occurred, they wouldn’t have filled it.

“There wasn’t a vacancy, but he just helpfully volunteered how they would deal if it if they had one.

“Well, to one-up him, Leader Harry Reid and his friend the Democratic Leader said 18 months before the end of the Bush 43 period, if a vacancy on the Supreme Court occurred they wouldn’t fill it. That’s a fact.

“What we’re talking about here are the facts of how we got to where we are,

“I understand my Democratic friends seem to be terribly persuaded by their version of all of this. All I can tell you is: I was there, I know what happened. And my version is totally accurate.

“The truth is, on all of this, we owe the country a broader discussion.

“Competing claims about Senate customs cannot fully explain where we are.

“Procedural finger pointing does not explain the torrent of outrage and threats which this nomination and many previous ones have provoked from the political left.

“There are deeper reasons why these loud voices insist it is a national crisis.

“It's a national crisis when a Republican president makes a nominee for the Supreme Court.

“Catastrophe looms right around the corner. The country will be fundamentally changed forever. When a Republican president makes a Supreme Court nominee.

“They have hauled out the very same tactics for fifty years. Some of the opposition’s more intense, but the doomsday predictions about the outcome of nominating these extremists like John Paul Stevens, David Souter?

“Why, somehow, everyone knows in advance that nominations like Bork, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett are certain to whip up national frenzies... while nominations like Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan are calm events by comparison.

“This blaring asymmetry predates our recent disputes. And it comes, my colleagues, from a fundamental disagreement on the role of a judge in our republic.

“We just have a fundamental difference of opinion. We just heard the Democratic Leader name all of these things that are threatened by this nominee. It sounds very similar to the tunes we've heard before.

“We, like many Americans, want judges to fulfill a limited role the Constitution assigns to them: Stick to text, resolve cases impartially, and leave policymaking to the people and their representatives, which is what we do here.

“We just spent four years confirming brilliant, qualified constitutionalists to the Supreme Court and lower courts who understand their roles.

“53 circuit judges, over 200 judges in total, and we're about to confirm the third Supreme Court Justice. What they all have in common -- brilliant, smart, and know what a judge is supposed to be.

“But the left thinks the framers of our country got this all wrong. They botched the job.

“The people who wrote the Constitution didn't understand what a judge ought to be. As several Senate Democrats have reaffirmed in recent days, they find it quaint and naive to think a judge would simply follow the law.

“Scalia used to say if you want to make policy, why don't you run for office? That's not what we do here.

“Gorsuch said we don't wear red robes or blue robes. We wear black robes. What they want is activist judges. They’ve made it quite clear. The Democratic Leader just a few minutes ago made it quite clear.

“So what they are looking for is a small panel of lawyers with elite educations to reason backward from outcomes and enlighten all the rest of us with their morals and political judgment. Whether the Constitution speaks to the issue or not. They know best what’s for us. No matter what the Constitution or the law may say.

“And for the last several decades, in many cases, that's what they have gotten. One activist decision after another, giving us subjective preferences of one side of the force of law.

“Across a wide variety of social, moral, and policy matters that a healthy society would leave to democratic debate, the personal opinions of judges have superseded the will of the people.

“Now, they call that a success, and they want more of it.

“President Obama actually was refreshingly honest about this. He said he wanted to appoint judges who had empathy. Think about that for a minute. What if you are the litigant before the judge -- for whom the judge does not have empathy? You’re in tough shape. So, you give them credit for being pretty honest about this. That’s what they're looking for. The smartest, leftist people they can put to make all the decisions for the rest of us, rather than leaving it to the messy democratic process to sort these things out the way the framers intended.

“And that is clearly why we have taken on such an outsized, combative atmosphere with regard to these confirmations. That’s why they have become so contentious, because they want to control not only the legislative body but the judicial decisions as well.

“Let me just say this -- there is nothing innate about legal training that equips people to be moral philosophers.

“And incidentally, as I just said, that's why these confirmations have taken on such an outsized, unhealthy significance. The remarks we just heard from across the aisle show exactly why the framers wanted to stop the courts from becoming clumsy, indirect battlefields for subjective debates that belong in this chamber and over in the House and in state legislatures around the country.

“The left does not rage and panic at every constitutionalist judge because they will simply enact our party’s policy preferences. Any number of recent rulings make that very clear.

“Their problem is that every judicial seat occupied by a constitutionalist is one fewer opportunity for the far left to go on offense.

“At the end of the day, this is a valid debate.

“The difference of opinion on the judicial role is something the Senate and our system are built to handle. But there is something else our system cannot bear. As you have heard tonight, we now have one political faction essentially claiming they now see legitimate defeat as an oxymoron.

“Our colleagues cannot point to a single Senate rule that’s been broken. They made one false claim about committee procedure which the parliamentarian dismissed.

“The process comports entirely with the constitution.

“We don't have any doubt, do we, that if the shoe was on the other foot, they would be confirming this nominee. And have no doubt if the shoe was on the other foot in 2016, they would have done the same thing. Why? Because they had the elections that made those decisions possible. The reason we were able to make the decision we did in 2016 is because we had become the majority in 2014.

“The reason we were able to do what we did in 2016, 2018, and 2020 is because we had the majority. No rules were broken whatsoever. So all of these outlandish claims are utterly absurd, and the louder they scream, the more inaccurate they are.

“You can always tell, just check the decibel level on the other side. The higher it goes up, the less accurate they are.

“Our democratic colleagues keep repeating the word illegitimate as if repetition would make it true.

“We're a constitutional republic. Legitimacy does not flow from their feelings. Legitimacy is not the result of how they feel about it. You can't win them all, and elections have consequences.

“And what this Administration and this Republican Senate has done is exercise the power that was given to us by the American people in a manner that is entirely within the rules of the Senate and the Constitution of the United States.

“The irony indeed. Think about how many times our Democratic friends have berated President Trump for allegedly refusing to accept legitimate outcomes he does not like. How many times have we heard that? ‘President Trump won't accept outcomes he does not like.’

“Well, they're flunking that very test right before our eyes. That’s their problem. They don't like the outcome. Well, the reason this outcome came about is because we had a series of successful elections. One of our two major political parties increasingly claims that any political system that deals them a setback is somehow illegitimate.

“And this started actually long before this vacancy, as we all know. Over a year ago, Senate Democrats sent the Court an amicus brief that read like a note from a gangster film. They wrote: ‘The Supreme Court is not well… Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured’…’

In March, the Democratic Leader stood outside the Court and threatened multiple Justices by name. ‘You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions!’ ‘You will pay the price!’

“That's the Democratic Leader of the Senate in front of the Supreme Court mentioning justices by name and in effect saying, if you rule the wrong way, bad things are going to happen.

“For multiple years now, Democrats in this body and on the presidential campaign stump have sought to revive the discredited concept of court-packing.

“Every high school student in America learns about Franklin Roosevelt’s unprincipled assault on judicial independence. Now the left wants to repeat it.

“And former Vice President Biden, who spent decades condemning the idea here in the Senate, obediently says he’ll look into it.

“Most importantly, the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg said last year: ‘nine is the right number.’

“That's the vacancy we're filling right now. I don't think any of them have quoted her on this issue lately, have you? Ruth Bader Ginsburg said ‘nine is the right number.’

“These latest threats follow decades of subtler attempts to take independent judges and essentially put them on political probation.

“How many consecutive nominees have Democrats and the media insisted would, quote, ‘tip the balance’ of the Court?

“Has anyone tallied up how many hard right turns the courts have supposedly taken in our lifetimes?

“All this ominous talk is a transparent attempt to apply improper pressure to impartial judges.

“Rule how we want, or we’re coming after the Court. Vote how we want, or we’ll destroy the Senate.

“These have been the Democratic demands. This is not about separation of powers.

“It’s a hostage situation.

“Elections come and go. Political power is never permanent.

“But the consequences could be cataclysmic if our colleagues across the aisle let partisan passions boil over and scorch the ground rules of our government.

“The framers built the Senate to be the nation’s firewall.

“Over and over, this institution has stood up to stop recklessness that could have damaged our country forever.

“Tonight, we are called to do that again.

“Tonight, we can place a woman of unparalleled ability and temperament on the Supreme Court.

“We can take another historic step toward a judiciary that fulfills its role with excellence, but does not grasp after power that our constitutional system intentionally assigns somewhere else.

“And we can stand loud and clear that the United States Senate does not bow to intemperate threats.

“Voting to confirm this nominee should make every single Senator proud.

“So I urge my colleagues to do just that.”

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer
October 26, 2020

Schumer Floor Remarks On The Nomination Of Judge Amy Coney Barrett To The United States Supreme Court

Washington, D.C. — Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Today, Monday, October 26, 2020, will go down as one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate.

Let the record show that tonight, the Republican Senate majority decided to thwart the will of the people and confirm a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court in the middle of a presidential election, after a more than sixty million Americans have voted.

Let the record show that tonight, the Republican majority will break 231 years of precedent and become the first majority to confirm a Supreme Court Justice this close to election day.

And let the record show that tonight, the Republican majority will make a mockery of its own stated principle—that the American people deserve a voice in the selection of Supreme Court Justices—completing the partisan theft of two seats on the Supreme Court using completely contradictory rationales.

And let the record show that the American people—their lives, and rights, and freedoms—will suffer the consequences of this nomination for a generations.

This entire debate can be summed up in three lies propagated by the Republican majority, and one great, and terrible truth.

The first lie is that the Republican majority is being consistent in following its own standard. What rubbish.

After refusing a Democratic nominee to the Supreme Court because an election was eight months away, they will confirm a Republican nominee before an election that is eight days away.

What’s Leader McConnell’s excuse? He claims that the principle of not confirming Justices in presidential years only applies when there’s divided government. But this is what Leader McConnell said after Justice Scalia died: “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice.”

That’s all he said. He didn’t say that the American people should have a voice, but only when there’s divided government. No—that last bit is ex post facto.

If this were really about divided government all along, Republican Senators would not have promised, on the record, to follow their own standard if the situation was reversed. “I want you to use my words against me,” said the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. “If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said: ‘let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.’”

So the claim by the Leader that this is consistent with their own principle? Please.

Rather than accept the consequences of its own words and deeds, the Republican majority is lighting its credibility on fire. This hypocritical, 180-degree turn is spectacularly obvious to the American people.

The second lie is that the Republican majority is justified because of Democratic actions on judicial nominations in the past.

The Republican leader claims that his majority’s actions are justified by all the bad things Democrats did years ago. He claims that every escalation of “significance” in judicial debates was made by Democrats.

But in his tortured, convoluted history lesson, Leader McConnell left out a whole bunch of chapters. He omitted that Republicans bottled up more than 60 judicial nominees by President Clinton, refusing them even a hearing. He made no reference to the decision by Republican Senators to hold open 14 appellate court seas in the 1990s so that a Republican president could fill them instead—a tactic Republicans would revisit under President Obama, when Republicans used partisan filibusters to block his nominees to the DC circuit.

At the time, Republican Senators, including my colleague from Kentucky, amazingly accused President Obama of trying to “pack the court,” by the mere act of nominating judges to vacancies on the 2nd Circuit. What a hypocritical, double-standard, which appears to be endemic in Leader McConnell’s recounting of history.

And on top of it all, the Leader has asked the Senate play a blame game that dates all the way to 1987, pointing to a three-minute speech by Sen. Kennedy about Robert Bork as the original sin in the judicial wars. Seriously, that’s what he said. Because one Democrat gave one three-minute speech that Republicans didn’t like, Leader McConnell can steamroll the minority to confirm a Justice in the middle of an election!

Imagine you’re trying to explain to someone: sorry, I have to burn down your house because of something one of your friends said about one of my friends 33 years ago. That’s how absurd and obnoxious this game has gotten. That’s how unjustifiable the majority’s actions are. How flimsy their excuses have become. The Leader’s final argument boils down to “but you started it!” – a declaration you’d sooner hear on the schoolyard than on the floor of the United States Senate.

And the third and perhaps the greatest lie is that the Republican majority is confirming Judge Barrett solely on the basis of her qualifications, not based on her views on the issues.

My colleagues insist that Judge Barrett should be confirmed on her credentials alone. That’s all they talk about. They don’t talk about her views on the issues, only qualifications.

Well, this canard is about as transparent as a glass door. Everyone can see right through it. What is the real reason Republicans are so desperate to rush Judge Barrett onto the Supreme Court? Of course it’s not because of her qualifications!

If my Republican friends truly believed that the only thing that mattered about a judicial candidate is their qualifications…then Merrick Garland would be sitting on the Supreme Court right now.

If the Republican Leader truly believed that judicial appointments were about qualifications, and qualifications alone, Judge Garland would be Justice Garland, right now.

Judge Garland was among the most qualified candidates ever—ever—to be nominated to the Supreme Court. No Republican Senator has disputed that. But they didn’t want Judge Garland on the bench. They do want Judge Barrett.

They subjected Judge Garland to an unprecedented partisan blockade, but they’re erecting a monument to hypocrisy to rush Judge Barrett onto the bench.

Why? It’s not because she’s more qualified than Judge Garland was. What is the difference between Barrett and Garland? The difference is not qualifications but views. We know that. We all know that: health care, a woman’s right to choose, gun safety, you name it. It’s because the far-right wants Judge Barrett’s views on the Court, but not Judge Garland’s.

The truth is, this nomination is part of a decade’s long effort to tilt the judiciary to the far-right; to accomplish through the Courts what the radical right and their allies—Senate Republicans—could never accomplish through Congress.

Senate Republicans failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, so President Trump and Republican Attorneys General are suing to eliminate the law in court.

Republicans would never dare to attempt to repeal Roe v. Wade in Congress, so they pass onerous laws in state legislatures, that they control, to drive that right to point of near extinction, and then provoke the Supreme Court to review Roe v. Wade. The far-right has never held a majority on the Court to limit Roe v. Wade or Griswold. But if Judge Barrett becomes Justice Barrett—it very well might.

And if you’re looking for some hard numbers to prove that the political right considers ideology and not just qualifications, consider this: under Justice Roberts, there have been 80 cases—80—decided by a 5-4 majority in which the 5 Justices nominated by Republican presidents came down on one side, and the 4 Justices nominated by Democratic presidents came down on the other.

80 cases, exactly the same majority. Calling balls and strikes? And in an amazing coincidence: all the Republican-nominated Justices think it’s a strike and all the Democratic ones think it’s a ball, or vice versa?

It would be the most remarkable coincidence in the history of mathematics if 9 Justices, simply calling balls and strikes, exhibited the same split, in the same exact configuration—80 times.

We all know what the game is here. So stop pretending.

Stop pretending that there aren’t entire organizations dedicated to advancing far-right judges.

Stop pretending that the political right doesn’t spend millions of dollars to prop up the far-right Federalist Society and support certain judicial candidates because they  only want “qualified judges.”

No—they want to systematically and permanently tilt the Courts to the far-right.

So does Judge Barrett have views on legal issues? You bet she does.

And that brings me to the one great and terrible truth about this nomination: the American people will suffer the consequences of Judge Barrett’s far-right, out-of-the-mainstream views for generations.

Judge Barrett came before the Judiciary Committee and refused to answer nearly any question of substance. That’s the new game at the hearings. She would not answer questions about health care. She would not say whether voter intimidation is illegal. She would not say if she thought Medicare and Social Security were Constitutional. She could not even offer platitudes in response to questions about the peaceful transfer of power and refused to say if climate change was real.

It’s not because Judge Barrett isn’t allowed to answer those questions, it’s because she knows how unfavorable her views on the issues might sound to the American people. But the thing is…we do know how Judge Barrett thinks.

She views certain rights, like the right to privacy, through a pinhole. She was closely affiliated with organizations who advocated the outright repeal of Roe v. Wade. But she views other rights, like the right to keep and bear arms, as almost infinitely expansive. She once authored a dissent arguing that the federal government does not have the authority to ban all felons—felons—from owning guns.

Only a few hours ago, the Republican Senator from Missouri proudly declared from the Senate floor that Judge Barrett is the most “openly pro-life judicial nominee to the Supreme Court” in his lifetime. “This is an individual,” he said of Judge Barrett: “who has been open in her criticism of that illegitimate decision, Roe v. Wade.” He was being more honest than most of the talk we’ve heard—saying it’s only about qualifications.

Judge Barrett has proudly fashioned herself in the mold of her mentor, Justice Scalia, who, before his death, appeared set to declare union fees to be unconstitutional—driving a stake into the heart of the American labor movement. While Americans workers break their back to make ends meet, and earn ever-less of ever-growing corporate profits—what might Justice Scalia’s former clerk portend for the future of labor rights?

What about voting rights? Judge Barrett has suggested that certain rights are “civic rights”—including voting rights—and can be restrained by the government. But other rights—like the right to keep and bear arms—are “individual rights” that cannot be subject to even the most commonsense restrictions.

And of course what about health care? Judge Barrett has argued that Justice Roberts got it wrong when he upheld the Affordable Care Act. She said that if Justice Roberts’ read the statute properly, the Supreme Court would have had to “invalidate” the law. That’s the same thing, by the way, that Donald Trump said about Justice Roberts and the ACA.

That’s the great and terrible truth about this nomination: Judge Barrett holds far-right views well outside the American mainstream.

And those views matter to the vast majority of Americans.

They matter to women facing the hardest decision of their lives.

They matter to LGBTQ Americans like my daughter who, only five years ago, won the legal right to marry who she loves and could lose it just as fast.

They matter to little girls like seven-year-old Penny Fyman from West Hempstead, Long Island, born with a neurological disorder, bound to a wheelchair and attached to a feeding tube, who is alive today, alive today because of the Affordable Care Act.

We’re talking about the rights and freedoms of the American people. Their right to affordable health care. To make private medical decisions with their doctors. To join a union. To vote without impediment. To marry who they love and not be fired for who they are.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett will decide whether all those rights will be sustained or curtailed for generations. And based on her views on the issues—not her qualifications but her views on the issues—Judge Barrett puts every single one of those fundamental American rights at risk.

So I want to be very clear with the American people: the Senate majority is breaking faith with you—doing the exact opposite of what it promised just four years ago—because they wish to cement a majority on the Supreme Court that threatens your fundamental rights.

And I want to be very clear with my Republican colleagues. You may win this vote. And Amy Coney Barrett may become the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. But you will never, never get your credibility back. And the next time the American people give Democrats a majority in this chamber, you will have forfeited the right to tell us how to run that majority.

You may win this vote. But in the process you will speed the precipitous decline of faith in our institutions, our politics, the Senate and the Supreme Court. You will give an already divided and angry nation a fresh outrage, and open a wound in this chamber that may never heal.

You walk a perilous road.

I know you think that this will eventually blow over. But you are wrong. The American people will never forget this blatant act of bad faith. They will never forget your complete disregard for their voices for the people standing in line right now voting their choice not your choice.

They will never forget the lack of consistency, honor, decency, fairness and principle. They will never forget the rights that are limited, constrained or taken away by a far-right majority on the Supreme Court.

And history will record that by brute political force, in total contradiction to its stated principles, this Republican majority confirmed a lifetime appointment on the eve of an election; a justice who will alter the lives and freedoms of the American people while they stood in line to vote.

Leader McConnell has lectured the Senate before on the consequences of a majority’s actions.

“You’ll regret this,” he told Democrats once, “and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think.”

Listen to those words. “You’ll regret this, and you may regret it a lot sooner than you think.”

I would change just one word: my colleagues may regret this for a lot longer than they think.

Here at this late hour, at the end of this sordid chapter in the history of the Senate, the history of the Supreme Court, my deepest and greatest sadness is for the American people.

Generations yet unborn will suffer the consequences of this nomination.

As the globe gets warmer, as workers continue to fall behind, as unlimited, dark money floods our politics, as reactionary state legislatures curtail a woman’s right to choose, gerrymander districts, and limit the rights of minorities to vote.

My deepest, greatest, and most abiding sadness tonight is for the American people, and what this nomination to the Supreme Court will mean for their lives, their freedoms, their fundamental rights.

Monday, October 26, 2020: it will go down as one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the Senate.