STATEWIDE — On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the Supreme Court.
Now, the full Senate plans to vote on her confirmation to the Supreme Court Monday. If confirmed, Barrett will become the ninth justice mere days before Election Day.
Dr. Laura Merrifield Wilson, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Indianapolis, doesn’t believe it’s a question of if she’ll be confirmed — but rather, when.
“Based on the progress and everything that we’ve seen … it’s just a matter of when that actual confirmation vote from the Senate will occur,” Wilson said.
Amy Coney Barrett’s potential confirmation, Wilson adds, may come with a clash of ideologies. As Barrett takes her final steps towards the Supreme Court position, issues related to healthcare, abortion and more are on the line for both Democrats and Republicans.
“If you have Amy Coney Barrett replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this would be a conservative woman replacing a liberal woman, you’re tilting that balance into a 6-3 conservative majority,” Wilson said. “So when we look at some of the cases that are coming up on the horizon, some of the cases that may come up in the future, we’re talking about a major ideological implication, and really moving from a somewhat conservative court to a stronger conservative court.”
If she is confirmed for the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett’s absence on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals — which rules on cases in Indiana — will not cause too much of a stir in the Hoosier state. Still, Wilson says, her position will need to be filled quickly.
“There is an institutional mechanism to separate everything out, so it’s not that decisions aren’t made … it would just make it a little bit more complicated,” Wilson said. “It would have some short term implications, but certainly the longer term effect is they would want that seat to be filled.”
Regardless of where you stand on her confirmation, Wilson believes it is still important to pay attention to the confirmation process.
“These confirmations, these hearings are really important for us because you get a better sense for who the candidates are,” Wilson said. “They give us a better sense for who Amy Coney Barrett is, and what she would be like if elected to serve in this capacity.”