Trump to pick Judge Amy Barrett
PRESIDENT’S LIKELY CHOICE FOR JUSTICE
>>WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump intends to name Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, US media reported on Friday, who if confirmed would cement a solid conservative majority in the high court.
The president said yesterday that this week he will announce his pick to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg and various media outlets said it would be the 48-year-old conservative judge.
Citing sources close to the process, various media outlets, including The New York Times and CNN, said Mr Trump would nominate
If she is confirmed the court would shift to a 6-3 conservative majority.
Asked by journalists if she will indeed be nominated, Mr Trump responded: “I haven’t said that.”
But he added that he had already made a decision “in my own mind” and that Ms Barrett is “outstanding.”
The media reports noted the mercurial Mr Trump could still change his mind before the official announcement, expected at 5pm in the US yesterday.
Democratic opponents, led by presidential candidate Joe Biden, have demanded that Republicans back off on replacing liberal icon Ginsburg — who died last week — until after the Nov 3 election, after it’s determined whether Mr Trump will get a second term.
Leaders of the Republican majority in the Senate, which is tasked with confirming Supreme Court nominees, said they have enough support to hold a vote on the nomination either before the election or at worst during the “lame duck” session between the election and the inauguration of the next president in January.
“We will certainly do that this year,” Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said.
Ms Barrett, a law professor, was only appointed to the bench for the first time in 2017. A deeply conservative Catholic, she is considered hostile to abortion rights — a key issue for many Republicans.
The left-leaning government watchdog group Accountable US was unimpressed with the reported choice. “Barrett has proven time and again that protecting businesses — not people — is her top priority,” said group president Kyle Herrig.
In 2018, the mother of seven was on the shortlist presented by Mr Trump for a seat vacated by the retirement of justice Anthony Kennedy, a position ultimately filled by Brett Kavanaugh after a ferocious confirmation battle.
Earlier on Friday, Ginsburg became the first woman and first Jewish person to lie in state at the US Capitol, where the justice’s relatives, US lawmakers and dignitaries including Mr Biden paid their respects.
Ginsburg’s last wish, reportedly relayed to her granddaughter, was for her seat to be decided by whoever wins the next election. Mr Trump cast doubt upon the veracity of that on Monday.