- The Washington Times - Friday, September 25, 2020

President Trump is expected to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Saturday night with Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

She was a top favorite of social conservatives to fill the seat after Justice Anthony Kennedy retired in 2018, but the president ultimately nominated Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Sources told The Washington Times Friday night that Judge Barrett is the nominee for this high court vacancy.

The president told reporters that he’s made up his mind, but wouldn’t confirm that his choice is Judge Barrett.

“I haven’t said it was her, but she is outstanding,” Mr. Trump said at Joint Base Andrews after returning from a trip to Florida.

The president said he did not meet with Judge Barbara Lagoa of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, another contender for the nomination, during his visit to her home state. He did, however, meet with Judge Barrett earlier this week.

Judge Barrett currently sits on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The 48-year-old judge is a devout Catholic and taught at Notre Dame Law School, which she also attended, prior to her nomination to the 7th Circuit to fill a seat on the federal bench belonging to Indiana.

Her faith became a sticking point for Democrats during her confirmation hearing for the appeals court seat when they raised questions about if she could separate her duty as a Catholic — and the church’s pro-life teaching —from her judicial responsibilities.

Judge Barrett is described as an “originalist” and a “textualist.”

She clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia after she graduated from law school.

The Senate confirmed her to the 7th Circuit by a 55-43 vote.

Senate Republicans have vowed to move forward with the president’s pick ahead of the Nov. 3 election, despite Democrats demanding they wait to see who wins the presidency — saying the next president should fill the high court vacancy.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill suggested this week that there could be a confirmation hearing in mid-October with a confirmation vote before Election Day.

After news broke that Judge Barrett was the president’s pick ahead of Saturday’s formal announcement from the White House, conservative groups praised her record.

“In the coming years, the Supreme Court will decide many critical cases on issues that will shape America’s economy. Either the Supreme Court will let the free-market operate without excessive government interference, or it will give the administrative state power it should never have. Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an excellent selection who has shown a rock-solid commitment to originalism and the Constitution,” said David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth.

Liberal groups, meanwhile, said Judge Barrett would damage the Affordable Care Act, which is before the court in a case scheduled for Nov. 10th.

“From day one, President Trump has made clear that he would only nominate justices to the Supreme Court who would vote to take down the Affordable Care Act, and now with 200,000 Americans already dead, President Trump is jamming through a Supreme Court justice who will take away America’s health care in the middle of this pandemic — because one week after the election, the Supreme Court will hear his lawsuit to completely dismantle the ACA,” said Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care.

Aimee Allison, founder of the liberal women’s group She the People, said Judge Barrett would be a “detriment to our democracy” if confirmed.

“Today’s news is devastating. Judge Amy Coney Barrett in no way fills the immense void Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg left on our highest court. She is favored among Trump-loyal conservatives, and her judicial record makes it clear she would be solidly opposed to abortion rights and inclined, even eager, to reverse Roe v. Wade, and the Affordable Care Act,” Ms. Allison said.

“If confirmed, right-wing judicial activist Barrett would reshape the law and society for generations to come. She is a detriment to our democracy,” she added.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, Louisiana Republican, said he intends to meet with Judge Barrett soon, calling her “a terrific choice.”

“She has the right legal mind and experience to serve on the Court,” he said. “Judge Barrett would be only the second Supreme Court justice from Louisiana, and she’s going to make our state and nation proud.”

Judge Barrett grew up in a suburb of New Orleans.

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