President Donald Trump plans to nominate federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to several media reports.
Barrett, 48, is a judge for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, Ill. She was appointed to the position by Trump in 2017 and previously worked as a professor at Notre Dame Law School and clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
She is a favorite among conservatives for her anti-abortion views.
The New York Times reported that Trump had selected Barrett but also said that “aides cautioned that Mr. Trump sometimes upends his own plans.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, who represents Louisiana’s 4th Congressional District wrote a Wednesday column for FoxNews.com describing his 30-year friendship with the presumed nominee and described her as “the ideal pick.” He said they were different parts of Louisiana and met in high school “at a student leadership event.”
“As I reminded President Trump most recently over the weekend,” Johnson wrote, “Amy should be considered a ‘female Scalia,’ and the natural inheritor of his extraordinary legacy on the Court. She clerked for him, studied constitutional law under him, and is cut out of the same mold. She is exactly what the president promised when he vowed to appoint ‘justices like Antonin Scalia.'”
A formal announcement is expected Saturday at the White House. Federal Judge Barbara Lagoa of Florida also was reported to have been in the running for the nomination.
Ginsburg died Sept. 18 from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. On Friday she became the first Jewish person and woman to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol.
The president and a majority of Republican senators have announced their plans to hold a confirmation hearing before November’s presidential election, producing outrage among Democrats.
Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have announced their objections to filling a Supreme Court vacancy before a new president is elected. But Republicans hold 53 seats in the Senate, and Supreme Court confirmation requires only a simple majority.
In 2016, with more than 100 days before the next presidential election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) refused to hold hearings for Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s last nominee for the Supreme Court, arguing that the nomination should not be filled in an election year.