Tax returns, ballots: Donald Trump's two key issues await Barrett on apex court

Updated: 28 October, 2020 10:26 IST | Agencies | Washington

It's not certain Barrett will take part in any of these issues, but she will make that call. Barrett was confirmed Monday by the Senate in a 52-48 virtual party-line vote

US President Donald Trump and US First Lady Melania Trump stand with Judge Amy Coney Barrett and her husband Jesse M Barrett after she was sworn in as a US Supreme Court Associate Justice. Pic/AFP
US President Donald Trump and US First Lady Melania Trump stand with Judge Amy Coney Barrett and her husband Jesse M Barrett after she was sworn in as a US Supreme Court Associate Justice. Pic/AFP

Amy Coney Barrett was formally sworn in Tuesday as the Supreme Court's ninth justice, her oath administered in private by Chief Justice John Roberts. Her first votes on the court could include two big topics affecting the man who appointed her.

The court is weighing a plea from President Donald Trump to prevent the Manhattan district attorney from acquiring his tax returns. It is also considering appeals from the Trump campaign and Republicans to shorten the deadline for receiving and counting absentee ballots in the states of North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

It's not certain Barrett will take part in any of these issues, but she will make that call. Barrett was confirmed Monday by the Senate in a 52-48 virtual party-line vote.

Youngest justice since 1991

No justice has assumed office so close to a presidential election or immediately confronted issues so directly tied to the incumbent president's political and personal fortunes. At 48, she's the youngest justice since Clarence Thomas joined the court in 1991 at age 43.

LGBTQ rights hearing

Other election-related issues are pending at the high court, which next week also will hear a clash of LGBTQ rights and religious freedoms. The fate of the Affordable Care Act is on the agenda on November 10, and Trump himself last week reiterated his opposition to the Obama-era law.

Weigh in on abortion ban?

On Friday, Barrett, the most open opponent of abortion rights to join the court in decades, could also be called upon to weigh in on Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban. It's not clear that the public will know how Barrett voted in the two abortion cases because the court typically doesn't make the vote counts public when it is considering whether to grant full review to cases.

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First Published: 28 October, 2020 09:38 IST

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