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Trump poised to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to fill Ginsburg's seat

Published on September 26, 2020 6:08 AM
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President Donald Trump plans to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Saturday, according to five people familiar with the matter, setting off a contentious Senate fight just over five weeks before the November presidential election.

Barrett, who has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since late 2017, was always considered the frontrunner to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because of her strong conservative credentials and the fact that she had already been vetted and interviewed two years ago.

Barrett, 48, who is expected to appear with Trump for an announcement at the White House on Saturday at 5 p.m., would cement a conservative orientation on the high court for years to come. If confirmed, she would join Trump?s two other appointments, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, to form a 6-3 conservative majority.

As he returned to Washington on Friday night, Trump confirmed to reporters he had made decision. "In my own mind, yes," he said. But when asked about Barrett, he said: ?I haven?t said it was her but she is outstanding."

Trump also considered former Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Lagoa, a Cuban American judge now on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, after being lobbied by Florida Republicans, who said her nomination could support the president's efforts to win Florida this fall. Trump had considered meeting Lagoa in Florida this week but he said Friday he had not.

Conservative groups were quick to praise Barrett, long seen as their first choice for the seat. "Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an excellent selection who has shown a rock-solid commitment to originalism and the Constitution," Club for Growth President David McIntosh said.

The White House has already started to reach out to senators to set up meetings with the nominee. The Senate Judiciary Committee expects to hold confirmation hearings the week of Oct. 12. Both Trump and some Republican senators have said the Supreme Court needs to have all nine justices ahead of the election, in case the court needs to step in to decide the result.

"Now, Donald Trump and the Senate Republicans want to steal another seat on the Supreme Court so that Amy Coney Barrett can help repeal Roe and shred the Affordable Care Act ? but not before she votes with a new, ultra-conservative majority to validate an election he intends to steal," NOW President Christian F. Nunes said Barrett said.

The Senate confirmed Barrett to her current judgeship in a 55-43 vote in 2017, and she is expected to receive broad support from Senate Republicans. She?s not likely to receive any support from Senate Democrats, who argue that ...

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