Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation vote

By Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 12:00 AM ET, Tue October 27, 2020
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8:12 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Masks required during event tonight, White House says

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

The White House stands ready for President Donald Trump to watch as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will administer the Constitutional Oath to Amy Coney Barrett on the South Lawn of the White House White House in Washington later tonight.
The White House stands ready for President Donald Trump to watch as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will administer the Constitutional Oath to Amy Coney Barrett on the South Lawn of the White House White House in Washington later tonight. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

The audience will be socially distanced at Judge Amy Coney Barrett's expected confirmation event tonight, a White House official tells CNN.  

Masks will also be required and those near President Trump will be tested beforehand, the official said.

5:01 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Here's a look at the major petitions awaiting Barrett in her first week

From CNN's Devan Cole, Ariane de Vogue and Caroline Kelly

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee for Supreme Court, poses for a photo before a meeting at the United States Capitol Building on October 1, in Washington.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee for Supreme Court, poses for a photo before a meeting at the United States Capitol Building on October 1, in Washington. Anna Moneymaker - Pool/Getty Images

Amy Coney Barrett is preparing to join the Supreme Court as the justices are ready to take action on a number of important petitions before them, including several related to next week's election.

Barrett will solidify a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court and will be able to participate in the court's action on the petitions, potentially giving Republican litigants an additional ally as the justices review the various requests.

Here's a look at the major petitions awaiting Barrett:

Trump taxes case: The justices are primed to decide soon whether a New York prosecutor will get access to Trump's financial documents from January 2011 to August 2019, including his tax returns.

Pennsylvania ballot extensions: Republicans in Pennsylvania asked the Supreme Court on Friday to block a ballot receipt extension that would allow them to be counted if they are received within three days of Election Day — even if they do not have a legible postmark.

Wisconsin ballot counting and requests: Three Wisconsin petitions before the court concern Democrats who are asking the justices to allow the counting of ballots six days after the election and whether Covid-19 vulnerable voters and others in the state can secure replacement mail-in ballots by email.

Minnesota congressional election date: A Republican candidate for Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District is asking the justices to intervene in a case concerning whether his election takes place on Nov. 3 or on Feb. 9, after the recent death of Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate Adam Weeks caused the contest to be moved to next year as required by state law.

Mississippi abortion case: As abortion rights backers and opponents spar over whether Barrett's confirmation would mean the end of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision, the justices will consider Friday whether or not to hear a case that could directly consider the precedent. The case pertains to Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban, which Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law in 2018. The law made exceptions only for medical emergencies or cases in which there's a "severe fetal abnormality," but not for incidents of rape or incest. A federal judge in Mississippi struck down the law in November 2018, and the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling late last year.

4:46 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Pence says he will head back to DC "in case" his vote is needed for Barrett confirmation

From CNN’s Daniella Diaz

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a "Make America Great Again!" campaign event at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford, Michigan, on October 22.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a "Make America Great Again!" campaign event at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford, Michigan, on October 22. Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence just wrapped his only event today in Hibbing, Minnesota. He deplaned Air Force Two with a face mask and waved to the crowd from the top of the stairs. He then jogged to the podium. 

Once his remarks wrapped, Pence stepped from behind the podium and put his face mask and returned to Air Force Two. 

On today’s Senate confirmation vote for Judge Amy Coney Barret, Pence said, “I’m going to head back to Washington, DC, just in case they need my vote.”

4:03 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Justice Clarence Thomas will administer oath to Barrett tonight, senior official says

From CNN's Pamela Brown

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas poses for the official group photo at the US Supreme Court in Washington, on November 30, 2018.
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas poses for the official group photo at the US Supreme Court in Washington, on November 30, 2018. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Following her expected confirmation by the Senate, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will administer the official Constitutional Oath to Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the White House tonight, a senior White House official tells CNN.

4:01 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Republican senators split on attending post-SCOTUS vote event

From CNN's Kristin Wilson, Ali Zaslav and Ted Barrett 

Seventh U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court, meets with Sen. Kevin Cramer in the Mansfield Room of the U.S. Capitol on October 1 in Washington.
Seventh U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court, meets with Sen. Kevin Cramer in the Mansfield Room of the U.S. Capitol on October 1 in Washington. Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

Republican members of the Senate are split about whether they will be attending the post-SCOTUS-vote event at the White House tonight, celebrating Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination.

Some have said they plan to attend, citing that the event will be outside, and that protective measures will be in place. 

“I would anticipate that everybody will practice good hygiene, social distancing whatever is appropriate,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, whose state has recently seen the highest transmission rate in the country.  

“It sounds like it’s an outdoor event I mean , that would certainly help that. Obviously, a lot more room, as well as the clean air, so I'm not, I'm not overly concerned. I'm certainly not concerned for myself. I’ll do my part," he said. 

Others, like Sen. Todd Young of Indiana, had planned to go, but are wavering.

"I RSVP’d yes, but I'm reconsidering that,” he said. When asked if his hesitation had to do with COVID, he demurred,  saying it “had to do with a lot of factors." 

Several senators remain undecided.

“I haven’t decided,” said Sen. Rick Scott of Florida. When asked if he’s concerned about the safety of the event, he replied: “I think it is important that people wear masks and they social distance.”

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina also said he hasn’t decided whether he will attend, because “if I can get on a plane going to South Carolina, I’m going to do that.”

Other members also said they plan to go home following the vote, including Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to answer a question. McConnell recently revealed he has not been to the White House since early August and has been critical on their practices to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

CNN reported Sunday that President Trump is expected to swear in Barrett at the White House at 9 p.m. ET, and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Monday morning the White House would be “doing the best we can” to prevent an outbreak at the event, including "encouraging as much social distancing as possible" and testing “in and around those that are critical to the mission."

2:59 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Pence is not expected to preside over tonight's vote, aide says

From CNN's Sarah Westwood and Kaitlan Collins

Vice President Mike Pence is no longer expected to preside over the Senate's vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court following a coronavirus outbreak on his team.

“Vice President Pence is campaigning in Minnesota today. The VP is not planning to be at the Senate tonight unless his vote is needed,” an aide to the vice president said.

Some background: At least five people in Pence's orbit have tested positive for coronavirus in recent days, including chief of staff Marc Short, close aide Zach Bauer and outside adviser Marty Obst, sources told CNN.

Pence and second lady Karen Pence were both tested for Covid-19 Monday morning, according to Pence’s office. Both tested negative.

3:00 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Only 1 Republican is expected to vote against Barrett's confirmation

From CNN's Sam Fossum, Ted Barrett, Manu Raju and Ali Zaslav

Only one Republican — Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is facing a competitive reelection fight — is expected to vote against Judge Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation due to concerns that it's too close to the election to consider a nominee.

All Democrats are expected to vote against the nomination, though Republicans still have enough votes to confirm Barrett.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the nomination to the full chamber, over the boycott of Democratic committee members, who put in their seats pictures of individuals affected by the Affordable Care Act.

Unable to stop the confirmation, Democrats have resorted to theatrical tactics instead to spotlight their anger. Democratic senators on Friday forced a rare closed session so members could privately discuss their concerns about the process.

2:59 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

What you need to know about Barrett's confirmation vote

From CNN's Clare Foran and Ted Barrett

Senate Republicans are poised to confirm President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett today, a major victory for the President and his party just days before Nov. 3, that promises to push the high court in a more conservative direction for generations to come.

Trump is expected to swear-in Barrett at the White House in an outdoor ceremony at 9 p.m. after her expected confirmation, a source familiar with the invitation tells CNN.

Here are some key things to know ahead of this evening's vote:

  • Why it matters: The stakes in the Supreme Court battle are immense and come at a pivotal time in American politics in the run up to an election where control of Congress and the White House are on the line. Trump's appointment of a new Supreme Court justice will mark the third of his tenure in office, giving Republicans a historic opportunity to deliver on the key conservative priority and campaign promise of transforming the federal courts through lifetime appointments.
  • What Barrett could mean for the court: Barrett, 48, is likely to serve on the court for decades and will give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court, a shift in its makeup that will have dramatic implications for a range of issues that could come before it, including the future of the Affordable Care Act and any potential disputes regarding the 2020 election.
  • Fast-tracked nomination: Senate Republicans, who hold a majority in the upper chamber, have pushed ahead with one of the quickest nomination proceedings in modern times following the death of the late Justice and liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month. They have the votes to confirm Barrett over the objections of Democrats who have argued that the process has been a rushed and cynical power grab that threatens to undermine Ginsburg's legacy. "The Senate is doing the right thing. We're moving this nomination forward and, colleagues, by tomorrow night we will have a new member of the United States Supreme Court," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday after the Senate advanced the nomination in a key procedural vote to break a Democratic filibuster.

Read more here.