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The Senate on Sunday voted to advance Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett toward final confirmation.
The final count was 51-48, with Democrats unanimously voting in opposition, and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) crossing the aisle to join them. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), the Democratic vice presidential nominee, was not present for the vote. Both Collins and Murkowski, like their Democratic colleagues, have said they believe Barrett's nomination was too close to the Nov. 3 election to move forward, although Murkowski said Saturday that she will now back the judge's confirmation after losing the "procedural fight." Collins is expected to stick with the Democrats going forward, but Barrett should still be confirmed without much drama.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has faced criticism from Democrats for expediting the confirmation process after blocking former President Barack Obama's nominee in 2016 because it was an election year, called Barrett one of the most "impressive" nominees for public office "in a generation," adding that the "heated" debate around confirmation "curiously" lacked talk of her "actual credentials or qualifications." Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), meanwhile, said the vote was a "sham."
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