court

The US Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Thursday on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.

The 22-member panel is scheduled to vote at 1 pm (1700 GMT), deciding whether to advance Barrett’s nomination to the full 100 members of the Senate for the final decision.

Republicans have set Monday next week for the final full Senate vote, indicating the party believes it has enough votes to confirm Barrett’s life-long appointment before the November 3 presidential election.

President Donald Trump picked Barrett, a 48-year-old conservative judge, to replace former justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the liberal icon who died last month.

Democrats have decried the move, accusing Republicans of rushing the process. They argue that the winner of the November election should nominate a judge to fill the vacancy on the country’s top court.

If Barrett is confirmed, there will be a six-to-three majority on the Supreme Court for judges appointed by Republicans, though the court’s rulings are not always along strict ideological lines.

Democrats have claimed Barrett would strip health care protections and generally favour conservative positions on issues such as abortion and gun control.

The Republicans hold a slim majority in the upper chamber of Congress and not all members of the party have publicly committed to voting for Barrett, in part as it is so close to the election.

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