• The vote has been scheduled for Monday to give vulnerable senators time to go home and campaign for a solid week ahead of the Nov. 3 election
  • Even with the defection of Susan Collins of Maine and the possible defection of Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the GOP still has the 51 votes it needs to confirm Barrett
  • Barrett's ascension to the high court will cement a conservative majority for a generation -- unless the size of the court is altered, something that hasn't happened since 1869

The Senate is plowing ahead with Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, scheduling a Monday vote on confirmation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the plan during his weekly press conference.

"I think that will be another signature accomplishment in our effort to put on the courts, the federal courts, men and women that believe in the quaint notion that maybe the job of a judge is to actually follow the law," McConnell told reporters Tuesday.

Barrett’s ascension would cement a conservative majority for a generation – unless justices are added to the court, whose size hasn’t changed since 1869.

The Senate Judiciary Committee was scheduled to vote on the nomination Thursday and send it to the floor.

This is the first time the Senate will vote to confirm a Supreme Court justice so close to an election. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has called the process “farcical.” Barrett could be installed immediately afterward.

Wrapping up the vote on Monday will give vulnerable senators a solid week of campaigning ahead of the Nov. 3 general election as hopes they would need to stay in town for a vote on a coronavirus stimulus package faded.

Barrett’s confirmation is expected to sail through with nearly all Republicans expected to vote to approve. Only Sen. Susan Collins of Maine has said she would vote no. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who said she opposed taking up the nomination ahead of the election, has not said which way she would vote on the nomination itself. She was expected to meet with Barrett this week.

Even with two defections, the GOP would have the 51 votes needed to make Barrett, who currently sits on the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago, the newest addition to the high court and the third justice selected by President Donald Trump. She was confirmed to the appellate bench in 2017.

Trump has said he expects Barrett’s vote to be crucial in any coming challenge to election results. Trump has been trying to undermine the legitimacy of the vote for months, alleging widespread mail-in voting would taint the results.

During her confirmation hearing last week, Barrett declined to answer questions that would have revealed her leanings on major issues and declined to say whether she would recuse herself from an elections dispute stemming from Nov. 3 balloting.

The Washington Post reported a 2009 Supreme Court ruling may require Barrett to recuse herself. Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. found recusal may be required if there is a serious risk of bias because of “psychological tendencies and human weakness” common to all individuals. The case involved a litigant to helped elect a West Virginia appellate justice.