The US Senate has confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in a victory for President Donald Trump a week before the general election.
Mr Trump’s fellow Republicans voted 52-48 to approve the judge, overcoming the unified opposition of Democrats.
The 48-year-old took the oath of office at the White House alongside President Trump.
Her appointment seals for the foreseeable future a 6-3 conservative majority on the top US judicial body.
Only one Republican, Senator Susan Collins, who faces a tough re-election battle in Maine, voted against the president’s nominee in Monday evening’s vote.
Judge Barrett is the third justice appointed by the Republican president, after Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
Who is Amy Coney Barrett?
- Favoured by social conservatives due to record on issues like abortion and gay marriage
- A devout Catholic but says her faith does not influence her legal opinion
- An originalist, which means interpreting US Constitution as authors intended, not moving with the time
- Lives in Indiana, has seven children including two adopted from Haiti
But Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell stood by his party’s decision to forge ahead with the confirmation vote.
The Kentucky senator said: “We don’t have any doubt, do we, that if the shoe was on the other foot, they’d be confirming. You can’t win them all, and elections have consequences.”