US President Donald Trump watches as Judge Amy Coney Barrett sworn in as a US Supreme Court Associate Justice
US President Donald Trump watches as Judge Amy Coney Barrett sworn in as a US Supreme Court Associate Justice
AFP

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 52-48 to approve the judge, overcoming the unified opposition of Democrats, the BBC reported.

The 48-year-old 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.

Democrats had argued for weeks that it should be up to the winner of the November 3 election to pick the nominee.

Shortly before the Senate vote, Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, vowed his party would "not stop fighting".

But although his colleagues took to the floor of the upper chamber to denounce the proceedings, they had no further options to block the confirmation.

But Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell stood by his party's decision to forge ahead with the confirmation vote.

The Kentucky senator said: "We don't have any doubt, do we, that if the shoe was on the other foot, they'd be confirming. You can't win them all, and elections have consequences."

President Trump, just returned from campaigning in Pennsylvania, will preside over Justice Barrett's swearing-in ceremony at the White House later on Monday evening.

Conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will administer one of the two oaths of office that justices take, according to the White House.

The event will take place on the south lawn of the executive mansion, a month after a similar event to unveil Justice Barrett as the president's nominee was linked to a Covid-19 outbreak that was followed by the president himself testing positive for the disease.

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