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President Donald Trump is planning to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 48, of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to multiple media reports Friday afternoon.
According to The New York Times, “people close to the process who asked not to be identified disclosing the decision in advance” said that Trump will announce Barrett as his decision on Saturday. The NY Times offered the following caveat: “As they often do, aides cautioned that Mr. Trump sometimes upends his own plans. But he is not known to have interviewed any other candidates for the post.”
According to USA Today, “multiple Republican and conservative sources” said Friday that Barrett has become the central focus of the search process, and no other Supreme Court candidates appear to be in serious consideration. However, USA Today also indicated things can still change.
CNN, which was the first to report on Barrett’s chances on Friday afternoon, appeared to take a slightly more certain stance than USA Today, reporting that Trump intends to nominate Barrett on Saturday.
President Donald Trump intends to choose Amy Coney Barrett to be the new Supreme Court justice, according to multiple senior Republican sources with knowledge of the process.
In conversations with some senior Republican allies on the Hill, the White House is indicating that Barrett is the intended nominee, multiple sources said.
All sources cautioned that until it is announced by the President, there is always the possibility that Trump makes a last-minute change but the expectation is Barrett is the choice. He is scheduled to make the announcement on Saturday afternoon.
CBS News later reported that Trump is expected to nominate Barrett to the Supreme Court, citing “multiple sources involved in or familiar with the selection process.” The news agency offered the same caveat as CNN, reporting that “it’s possible” the president may still change his mind.
Barrett has long been floated as someone Trump was seriously considering for a Supreme Court vacancy, having made it far into the consideration process back when the president was deciding who to nominate for Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat, which was filled ahead of the 2018 midterm elections by Brett Kavanaugh.
Back in 2019, Axios reported that Trump had “told confidants” that he was planning to nominate Barrett for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat. Three sources told the news agency that Trump used the exact phrase, “I’m saving her for Ginsburg,” in conversations with several people, including once back in the summer of 2018.
“She is the most known quantity right now amongst the women on the list,” a source who has discussed the Seventh Circuit judge with the president told Axios as reported in 2019. The source reportedly also added: “And she also has the inside track in the sense that she was kind of battle-tested for having gone through a confirmation already.”
According to CNN, a former senior Trump administration official said that Judge Barrett has been the “plan all along.”
“She’s the most distinguished and qualified by traditional measures. She has the strongest support among the legal conservatives who have dedicated their lives to the court. She will contribute most to the court’s jurisprudence in the years and decades to come,” said the former official, CNN reported Friday.
Another name that was floated for the Supreme Court vacancy is Barbara Lagoa of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. However, Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday that he didn’t have any plans to meet with her, according to Reuters.