How Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination process is unique…and isn’t

Oct 26, 2020, 5:29 AM | Updated: 8:04 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators are set to vote Monday on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court. 

While Republicans have been largely enthusiastic about President Donald Trump’s choice, Democrats have called the nomination unprecedented. 

Amy Coney Barrett’s situation is unique in that, should she be confirmed as expected, it would come eight days before an election. This would be the closest to a presidential election that a Supreme Court nominee has been confirmed in history. 

Democrats have been angry because most Republicans stopped a vote on Judge Merrick Garland four years ago, arguing it should not be done in an election year. It was a similar argument some Democratic senators made in 1992, though there was no vacancy on the court at the time. 

However, it is constitutional for any president to nominate someone during an election year. Since 1900, for example, there have been at least six justices confirmed in election years. Most were nominated that same year. 

Former Justice Anthony Kennedy was the last Supreme Court nominee to be confirmed in an election year in 1988. 

Slow walking, stalling, or opposing a candidate for a justice of the Supreme Court is also not prohibited in The Constitution.  

Another way Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination process is different from others is that it cannot be filibustered. 

Senate Republicans did away with the filibuster rule in 2017 to help the nomination of now Justice Neal Gorsuch. A simple majority is all that is needed for confirmation. Senate Democrats had originally gotten rid of the filibuster rules for lower-level judges when they were in control in 2013. 

That leaves Amy Coney Barrett’s opponents with few options to stop her nomination, though Democrats have declined to shut down the government over it.

In an unprecedented move, Democrats boycotted a recent Senate Judiciary Committee meeting. However, it was mostly symbolic, as her nomination was easily passed out of committee.

On Sunday the Senate voted 51-49 to move forward with 30 hours of debate ahead of a final confirmation vote expected on Monday evening. 

If Judge Coney Barrett is confirmed, she will be the fifth woman ever to sit on the Supreme Court.

Today’s Top Stories


Herbert Cox statement Reyes election lawsuit...
Mark Jones

State of Utah files lawsuit against pharmaceutical retailers

Three pharmaceutical retailers are facing a lawsuit from the State of Utah. The lawsuit was filed the week of July 1.
4 days ago
This June 20, 2017, photo provided by Chris Wonderly shows Hovenweep Castle at Hovenweep National M...
Curt Gresseth

Supreme Court widens state power over tribes. What does it mean for Utah?

The director of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs discusses the recent US Supreme Court ruling and what it means for tribes in Utah.
5 days ago
Ketanji Brown Jackson takes the oath for the Supreme Court....
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Jackson sworn in, becomes 1st Black woman on Supreme Court

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, will be sworn as the court's 116th justice Thursday, just as the man she is replacing, Justice Stephen Breyer, retires.
5 days ago
Immigration activists rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 26. Photo credi...
Tierney Sneed and Priscilla Alvarez, CNN

Supreme Court says Biden can end Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ immigration policy

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave President Joe Biden the green light to end the controversial "Remain in Mexico" immigration policy.
5 days ago
The Supreme Court is pictured. The court just limited the EPA...
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Supreme Court limits EPA in curbing power plant emissions

The Supreme Court on Thursday limited how the nation's main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
5 days ago
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference on the final day of the NATO summit in Madrid, ...

Biden says transatlantic alliance has adapted to new threats

Biden's comments came at a press conference in Madrid at the conclusion of the annual meeting of NATO leaders and after he attended a summit with the Group of Seven advanced democratic economies in the Bavarian Alps.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
How Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination process is unique…and isn’t