Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks

Amy Coney Barrett has been confirmed for the US Supreme Court.

The US senate elected the devout Catholic on Monday (26 October) in a massive win for President Donald Trump, just a week before he faces off against Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential election.

Republicans voted 52-48 to approve the judge, overthrowing the unified opposition of Democrats who warned that Barrett’s appointment could have catastrophic consequences for the future of LGBTQ+ rights, abortion rights, gun laws and healthcare.

After the verdict, vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris tweeted: “Today Republicans denied the will of the American people by confirming a Supreme Court justice through an illegitimate process—all in their effort to gut the Affordable Care Act and strip health care from millions with pre-existing conditions. We won’t forget this.”

Biden said the “rushed and unprecedented confirmation” of Barrett as Associate Justice to the Supreme Court in the middle of a presidential election should be a “stark reminder to every American” that their vote matters more than ever.

Elizabeth Warren also criticised the decision, calling a vote for Barrett a vote to “rubber stamp an illegitimate process, carried out against the wishes of the majority of the nation, against the backdrop of a deadly crisis that Senate Republicans have ignored as Americans have died.”

She continued: “This is a dark day. But it’s important to remember why Republicans fought so hard to steal this Supreme Court seat. They’ve realized a truth that shakes them to their core: The American people are not on their side. And we’ll keep fighting until we take our democracy back.”

Barrett said her personal views would not shape how she approaches the job.

“A judge declares independence not only from the Congress and the president, but also from the private beliefs that might otherwise move her,” she said. “The judicial oath captures the essence of the judicial duty: the rule of law must always control.”

Barrett’s confirmation follows the death of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who requested that her replacement should be decided after the election. Democrats also argued that the winner of the election should be the one to decide the nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy.

Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell pushed for Barrett’s appointment, despite refusing to hold a hearing for a Supreme Court nominee in 2016 for President Obama. Conservatives fought back, opining that a decision shouldn’t be made in an election year.

For the foreseeable future, the US judicial body will now be led by a 6-3 conservative majority.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, US Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, said the courts should be ‘expanded’.

“Republicans do this because they don’t believe Dems have the stones to play hardball like they do,” she wrote on Twitter. “And for a long time they’ve been correct. But do not let them bully the public into thinking their bulldozing is normal but a response isn’t. There is a legal process for expansion.”