To get to Monday’s vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, Senate Republicans had to plow through a historically narrow timeframe, a superspreader event that infected the president of the United States and several of their own, and an eleventh-hour COVID-19 risk to the vice president planning to preside over the vote himself.
Ultimately, none of it mattered. On Monday night, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Barrett to the Supreme Court by a vote of 52 to 48, with only Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) crossing party lines by joining all Democrats to vote no.
It took just 30 days for Barrett to be confirmed, and no high court nominee has ever been approved—let alone received a vote—so close to a presidential election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) vowed to get the confirmation done before Nov. 3, and he did so with a week to spare. And he didn’t need Vice President Mike Pence, who has the power to break ties in the Senate as president of the chamber. Pence ultimately skipped the vote, as Democrats publicly urged him not to come after his chief of staff tested positive for COVID-19.