Published On: Tue, Oct 27th, 2020

Your Tuesday Briefing – The New York Times

A divided Senate voted Monday night to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, less than six weeks after the death of her predecessor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

With an election looming in just eight days, Republicans overcame unanimous opposition by Democrats to make Judge Barrett the 115th justice of the Supreme Court and the fifth woman ever to sit on its bench. In a 52-to-48 vote, all but one Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, supported Judge Barrett. It was the first time in 151 years that a justice was confirmed without a single vote from the minority party.

Democrats: Leading Democrats called the confirmation vote a hypocritical power grab by Republicans, who they said should have waited for voters to have their say on Election Day — the stance Republicans had taken four years ago when they declined to hold hearings for one of former President Barack Obama’s nominees to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland.

Republicans: Republicans said it was their right as the majority party to press ahead, and exulted in their victory, even as they stared down the potential loss of the White House and the Senate.

What’s next: Judge Barrett could begin work at the court as soon as Tuesday. Among the first issues she may face, according to The Times’s Adam Liptak, are cases from North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all concerning deadlines for mail-in ballots.

On Monday, scattered groups of workers across the country answered the call for a general strike. They were joined by university students who walked out of their classes, on the heels of an opposition march in Minsk, the capital, on Sunday that drew more than 100,000 people.

Quote: “We are waiting, waiting, for, maybe, the regime to fall,” said Eduard Sventetsky, a strike leader. “It depends on the leaders sitting in the Kremlin in Moscow.”

For years there have been debates about abolishing the system to allow the popular vote to determine the winner. But the issue faces a partisan divide, because Republicans benefit from the electoral clout of less populous, rural states.

Thanks for joining me for this briefing. See you next time.

— Natasha

Thank you
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. Will Dudding wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at
[email protected].

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