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Moment Democrat Mazie Hirono says 'hell no' and gives a thumbs down during ACB's Senate vote

Senator Mazie Hirono on Monday told the Senate 'hell no' and gave a thumbs down as she cast her vote in Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court.  

The Democrat from Hawaii then walked off the floor as the roll call of the vote continued to be read out.

Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court by a 52-48 vote - with Republican Susan Collins crossing the aisle to vote against her. Her confirmation immediately makes the court solidly conservative with a 6-3 majority.  

Hirono had earlier tweeted: 'LGBTQ rights. Voting rights. Women’s equality. Health Care. These rights didn’t materialize out of thin air – they came after hard-fought battles.

'Judge Barrett’s radical views and her disregard for real-world impacts show #WhatsAtStake if she is confirmed to the Supreme Court.'  

She said last month that she would not support the nomination of Coney Barrett in a lengthy tweet thread outlining her reasons.  

Senator Mazie Hirono on Monday told the Senate 'hell no' and gave a thumbs down as she cast her vote in Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court

Senator Mazie Hirono, left, said last month that she would not support the nomination of Coney Barrett, right, in a lengthy tweet thread outlining her reasons

'I will not support the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court for the following reasons: She will vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act after being rushed on the Supreme Court in time to hear the case on November 10. Millions of Americans will lose their health care – catastrophic in the middle of a pandemic,' Hirono tweeted.

She then shared her second reason, saying: 'She has a long history of being anti-choice and an explicit willingness to reverse SC precedent – endangering the protections of Roe v Wade. A woman's right to control her own body is at stake.' 

'The president expects her to support any challenge he mounts to the election results,' Hirono continued of Barrett, referencing the president's opposition to mass mail-in voting measures.

Following the confirmation squad members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar tweeted 'expand the court'.  

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez added: 'Republicans do this because they don't believe Dems have the stones to play hardball like they do. 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.' 

Her initial tweet was reposted by Rep. Omar, who also wrote: 'Expand the court.'  

Hirono had tweeted ahead of her vote; the Democrat from Hawaii walked off the floor as the roll call of the vote continued to be read out

Hirono said last month that she would not support the nomination in a lengthy tweet thread

Some on the left have already floated the idea of packing the court - adding seats to the Supreme Court - in the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: 'Should we expand the court, lets take a look and see.' 

She tweeted Monday: 'President Trump and Senate Republicans have committed an act of supreme desperation: jamming through a Supreme Court nominee just eight days before Election Day as part of their years-long campaign to destroy Americans’ health care.' 

Pelosi added in a statement: 'The President’s Supreme Court manipulation threatens the very values and rights that define and distinguish our nation.' 

Joe Biden said: 'The rushed and unprecedented confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as Associate Justice to the Supreme Court, in the middle of an ongoing election, should be a stark reminder to every American that your vote matters.' 

Donald Trump's third nominee was not in the chamber to watch the roll call vote, which allows her to join the eight justices on Tuesday morning, and potentially to decide on cases about voting before the November 3 election. 

She was later sworn in as a Supreme Court justice on the White House South Lawn in front of Trump by Clarence Thomas. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, left, on Monday tweeted 'expand the court' just moments after Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed by the Senate. Rep. Ilhan Omar, right, retweeted her 

The congresswoman added: 'There is a legal process for expansion'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also tweeted Monday, calling it an act of 'supreme desperation'

AOC's initial tweet was reposted by fellow squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar

Faced with the prospect of a decades-long conservative majority on the court following Ginsburg’s death, the idea of adding seats to the nine-person court has gained renewed traction among Democrats. 

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris labeled the confirmation 'illegitimate', saying Monday: '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.' 

She later tweeted: 'Instead of working to provide COVID-19 relief to struggling Americans, Mitch McConnell and Republicans chose to jam through a Supreme Court nominee—when more than 62 million people have already voted. It’s despicable and they must be held accountable.' 

Squad member Rep. Rashida Tlaib added: 'We are going to take back the White House & Senate next week with a resounding mandate from the people to fight back against Trump’s illegitimately stacked judiciary. 

'We must expand the Court if we’re serious about the transformational change the people are crying out for.' 

Fellow squad member Ayanna Pressley added: 'We reject this injustice. We will fight for our rights. We will legislate our values.'

Democratic leader Chuck Schumer also scorned the process which saw Coney Barrett confirmed on the eve of an election when McConnell had stopped even a hearing for Merrick Garland, Barack Obama's nominee, in 2016.

'You may win this vote. And Amy Coney Barrett may become the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. But you will never, ever, get your credibility back,' he said to Republicans on the Senate floor.  

Hillary Clinton tweeted: 'Senate Republicans just pushed through a Supreme Court justice who will help them take away Americans' health care in the middle of a pandemic. For them, this is victory. Vote them out.' 

Senate president pro tempore Chuck Grassley declared her confirmation at 8.06pm to applause from fellow Republicans; outside the Supreme Court conservatives chanted Coney Barrett's name as soon as she was confirmed.

Her confirmation transforms the court to a 6-3 conservative majority and comes after fierce opposition from Democrats, whose presidential nominee Joe Biden has resisted pressure to promise to pack the court if he wins - but who says he will order a commission on reforming the high court.   

Trump praised Coney Barrett's 'towering intellect,' and 'impeccable credentials,' as he spoke with the new justice on his right and Thomas on his left.

After Thomas swore her in, Coney Barrett thanked the senators who voted for her and said: 'I pledge to you and to the American people that I will discharge my duties to the best of my ability.'

And in an acknowledgement of her highly-controversial confirmation process and the focus on her conservative Catholic beliefs and open espousal of pro-life beliefs while she was an academic, she said: 'I will do my job my without any fear or favor and that I will do so independently of both the political branches and my personal preferences.'  

Donald and Melania Trump posed with Amy Coney Barrett and Jesse Barrett on the Blue Room balcony of the White House after she was sworn in as the ninth Supreme Court justice

The White House was draped in giant flags for the swearing-in of Amy Coney Barrett (left) by Clarence Thomas (right)

She is the only justice confirmed with a law degree from 'any school not named Harvard or Yale.' 

Barrett, a 48-year-old appellate judge for the 7th circuit, is a staunch Roman Catholic and life-long conservative. Her personal pro-life views have raised eyebrows among progressives who claim she will dismantle a woman's right to an abortion by working to overturn Roe v. Wade.

She is a member of People of Praise, a small and ultra-conservative charismatic group whose members speak in tongues.

Republicans had painted questions over her faith as an attack on Catholics at large and Democrats had steered clear of the group in their questions to her. 


Amy Coney Barrett is 48, a mother of seven and a brilliant legal mind - and now she is the most divisive Supreme Court Justice in at least a generation and perhaps far longer.

She brings to the Supreme Court a short judicial career, a longer academic one and the hopes of a conservative legal movement that they have a secure 6-3 majority in the high court for now, and a stalwart vote on it for many decades to come.

Coney Barrett's life story makes her the sixth Catholic on the court, keeps the six-three male-female make-up of the bench, and for the first time ever puts on the court someone who openly identifies with the charismatic wing of modern Christianity.

She is also the only one who did not receive an education at Harvard or Yale, and the only mid-western and southern justice, having been born and brought up in Louisiana and spent the rest of her life in Indiana.

Barrett was brought up in Metairie, Louisiana, as a member of charismatic, conservative, Catholic group  People of Praise and one of seven children.

Her father, Mike Coney, a former oil company lawyer, has been a leading member for decades. Her attorney-husband, Jesse, 46, whom she met while both were students at Notre Dame University, was also raised in the group.

She had studied for her undergraduate degree at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, and contemplated further study in English literature but instead decided to study law, going to Notre Dame whose law school has built a reputation as predominantly conservative.

Family photo of Amy Coney Barrett, her husband Jesse Barrett, and their seven children Emma; Vivian; Tess; John Peter; Liam; Juliet; and Benjamin. Her large family has been part of her appeal for conservatives. Vivian and John Peter are adopted from Haiti and their youngest son Benjamin has Down Syndrome

Judge Amy Coney Barrett introduced her family at her confirmation hearing including her children (from left, first row) Liam, Vivian, Tess, Juliet, Emma, J.P. and husband Jesse and then siblings (from left, second row) Vivian, Eileen, Michael, Megan and Amanda. Sister Carrie was seated across the aisle 

Amy Coney Barrett is seen in a family photo with siblings and parents. In 2018, Barrett's father Mike Coney wrote an online biography of himself on his church's website, saying he joined People of Praise because he and his wife Linda 'felt a call to live life in a close knit Christian community…one that would help form our children into good Christians and strengthen our marriage and family'

Family photo of Amy Coney Barrett, husband Jesse Barrett, and their seven children. She and her husband Jesse

Described by one professor as the best student he had ever had, she went on to be a clerk for Antonin Scalia, the justice who championed originalism as a judicial philosophy.

She had a brief career in private practice but became a law professor at Notre Dame, and married and had seven children.

The visible manifestation of her conservative Catholic beliefs was part of her appeal to political conservatives.

But it has also focused attention on the tiny group, which has just over 2,000 members and which does not represent mainstream Catholicism. 

People of Praise is headquartered in Notre Dame's hometown, South Bend, Indiana, and many of its leading members have ties to the university. According to its website, the group has branches in 14 states as well as one in Canada and two in the Caribbean. It runs three Grades 7-through-12 Trinity Schools and one elementary school.

Both— who lives in South Bend — and People of Praise seem to have gone to extraordinary lengths to hide her affiliation. Articles mentioning her were removed from the group's website shortly before she was to be considered for a seat on the Federal Appeals Court in 2017.

Barrett's ties to People of Praise only became public when the New York Times broke the story three weeks after her confirmation hearing as an appeals court judge, but before the committee had voted. The committee eventually split along party lines to confirm her. Three Democrats voted with the Republican majority in the vote in the full Senate. 

People of Praise is strongly anti-abortion. It also rejects homosexuality. 'Both are seen as being accepted by human law, but rejected by divine law,' the former member explained.

'Homosexual relationships are taboo, and any LGBTQ inclinations are seen as temptations that must be overcome through prayer. If that fails, the member must lead a life of chastity.'

Even dating is a no-no until a member has 'prayed through their state in life' and decided they are ready to 'marry for the Lord.' If they have not committed themselves to marriage, they must not date.

Barrett got her law degree at Notre Dame, graduating first in her class in 1997. She's pictured speaking at Notre Dame's Law School commencement in 2018 

Barrett and her husband Jesse are members of People of Praise, a small group that teaches that wives have to obey their husbands in everything

The group is probably best known for its doctrine that women must obey their husbands in everything, and its system where all men and single women must report to their mentor — called a 'head'. Husbands act as the 'head' for their wives.

The 'heads' have such influence they give direction on who a member should date or even marry, how to raise children, whether to take a new job and where to live. 

Until recently the female leader was known as a 'handmaid.' But that title was dropped after the success of the dystopian TV show The Handmaid's Tale and the negative connotations it brought to the title. 

Author Margaret Atwood, who wrote the original novel, said it was based on a group that has similar views to People of Praise. 

The conservative Catholic beliefs have bled into her public life:  she is a former member of the Notre Dame's 'Faculty for Life' and in 2015 signed a letter to the Catholic Church affirming the 'teachings of the Church as truth.'

Among those teachings were the 'value of human life from conception to natural death' and marriage-family values 'founded on the indissoluble commitment of a man and a woman'.

Barrett wrote that she agrees 'with those who say that a justice's duty is to the Constitution and that it is thus more legitimate for her to enforce her best understanding of the Constitution rather than a precedent she thinks clearly in conflict with it'.

What she said is the distillation of originalism and raises the possibility that she could tear up precedent if she sees it as out of line with the original constiution.  

That puts her in sync with Scalia and the Republican senators who voted for her and expect her to rule in line with that for decades to come; it puts her violently at odds with those who do not agree, and puts her on track to be a justice whose presence on the bench is going to divide opinion as long as she remains on it.

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