Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed and sworn in

Sworn in by Justice Clarence Thomas.

The U.S. Supreme Court is back to full strength now. Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed by the Senate last night and sworn in by Justice Thomas at a White House ceremony held shortly afterward.

Now-Justice Barrett was nominated by President Trump to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and confirmed in 2017. After Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in September, the President nominated then-Judge Barrett to be Justice Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

The confirmation vote was 52-48. All Republicans (with the exception of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine) voted in favor of Justice Barrett's confirmation. No Democrats voted in favor of confirmation.

Justice Barrett clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia and has spent most of her career in academia, at Notre Dame Law School. She is the first female Supreme Court justice to have school-age children (seven of 'em!).

In her remarks last night, Justice Barrett said that judges should not render decisions based on their own policy preferences but should follow the law as written:

[I]t is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences. It would be a dereliction of duty for her to give in to them. Federal judges don't stand for election; thus, they have no basis for claiming that their preferences reflect those of the people. This separation of duty from political preference is what makes the judiciary distinct among the three branches of government. A judge declares independence not only from Congress and the president but also from the private beliefs that might otherwise move her. The judicial oath captures the essence of the judicial duty: the rule of law must always control. . . .

What might this mean for employment law cases? We'll see.

Image Credit: From Wikimedia, Creative Commons license, by Rachel Malehorn.

Robin Shea has 30 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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