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Coney Barrett: Trump's nominee one step closer to Supreme Court

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Judge Amy Coney Barrett and President Donald Trump

While appearing on the Senate floor later Sunday following Republicans' vote to advance Barrett's Supreme Court nomination, Schumer remarked that Pence is setting a "terrible example" by appearing on the floor on Monday evening to preside over the chamber after his aides contracted COVID-19.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate's top Democrat, on Sunday called the push to confirm a justice so close to an election a "travesty" and "an in-erasable stain on this Republican majority forever more".

The final confirmation vote for Barrett is expected Monday night, putting her in position for a first full day as a justice as early as Tuesday and as the court continues to hear election-related legal challenges ahead of November 3.

She said she will vote against the procedural steps in the days ahead, but ultimately join Republicans in confirming Barrett.

She said Saturday she intends to vote against the next procedural vote, which if approved as expected would send the nomination to the Senate floor for a final vote.

"An emergency injunction is urgently needed to ensure that our federal election is governed by the statutes enacted by the people's duly elected representatives, and not by the whims of an unelected state agency", the petition to the Supreme Court said.

Two GOP senators - Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - voted with Democrats on Sunday to oppose Barrett's nomination from advancing, although Murkowski plans to support the federal appeals court judge on the confirmation vote on Barrett's merits.

However, Ms Murkowski said on Saturday she still meant to vote to confirm Barrett this week.

A man in a suit smiles and waves while standing on a stage in front of a US flag and a large aircraft

Republicans are hoping Ms Barrett's confirmation can give a boost to Mr Trump and incumbent senators in the party facing tough re-election fights.

On Saturday, Murkowski said that while she planned to vote against moving the nomination forward procedurally, she would vote to confirm Barrett. Susan Collins of ME, is now expected to vote against the conservative judge.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell prioritized the confirmation process over all other Senate business, including a new bill to provide relief to millions of Americans, and companies and local authorities hit hard by the coronavirus.

Barrett, 48, presented herself in public testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee as a neutral arbiter and at one point suggested, "It's not the law of Amy".

Republicans hold the Senate with a 53-47 majority, meaning at least four Republican senators would have had to break ranks to block Ms Barrett's confirmation.

Since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September, Murkowski has opposed filling her seat until after the election.

Two Republican senators, Susan Collins who faces a tough re-election fight in ME, and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, voted against moving forward after saying in recent weeks that they opposed confirming a justice so close to a presidential election. But Barrett's past writings against abortion and a ruling on "Obamacare" show a deeply conservative thinker.

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