BY: TRISH TURNER AND DEVIN DWYER, ABC NEWS
(NEW YORK) — With Republicans securing the necessary votes for the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas is expected to administer the official constitutional oath to Barrett at the White House later Monday night, a senior White House official told ABC News.
Supreme Court justices are required to take two oaths before they may execute the duties of their appointed office: the constitutional oath and the judicial oath. Recent tradition holds that at least one of the oaths is taken at the court itself.
Earlier Monday, President Donald Trump said the White House would “probably” host an event “later on this evening” if Barrett is confirmed.
“Not a large event,” he said. “Just a very nice event.”
Face coverings will be required for all those attending the event, a senior White House official said in a statement. The seated audience will be socially distanced and people “in close proximity” to the president will be tested in advance.
The White House has declined to comment on the timing of the event, the number of attendees or even where at the White House the event will be held.
The Senate floor vote is expected to take place about 7:30 p.m.
On Sunday, senators voted along party lines to quash a Democratic filibuster of Barrett to replace the late liberal icon, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, joined Democrats in the vote.
Murkowski had initially opposed moving a nominee so close to the election, saying “fair is fair” given that her own party had blockaded President Barack Obama’s pick in 2016 to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia eight months before the election, but with Republicans securing the necessary votes for confirmation, Murkowski has changed course.
“While I oppose the process that has led us to this point,” Murkowski said in a Saturday floor speech. “I do not hold it against her as an individual who has navigated the gauntlet with grace, skill and humility.”
That move left Collins alone among the GOP opposition expected to vote against Barrett on Monday. Collins is in an extremely difficult fight for reelection in a moderate state where she has been lambasted for her past support of conservative jurists, including Trump’s highly contentious nominee, Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.
ABC News’ John Santucci and Lauren King contributed to this report.
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