President Trump is expected to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court as the successor to the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to a senior White House official who spoke to PBS NewsHour.
Trump’s official announcement of his nominee is scheduled to take place on Saturday, according to CNN. Barrett is a conservative 7th Circuit appeals judge from Indiana who has been a federal judge for three years, and she is the only prospective nominee to have met with Trump in person, CNN also reported.
Though there remains the possibility that Trump changes his mind at the last minute, Barrett’s expected nomination comes as an apparent denial of Ginsburg’s dying wish, which she dictated to her granddaughter just days before her death last Friday at the age of 87, according to NPR: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
Trump and top Senate Republicans have made clear that they intend to approve a Supreme Court justice prior to the November election, coming in stark contrast to Republicans’ successful efforts to block the appointment of President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, to the Supreme Court ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
At the time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had said, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president” — a statement that now has called into question Senate Republicans’ efforts to secure Trump’s Supreme Court nominee within a month of the election.
Leading contenders for the nomination have also included Kate Todd, the White House’s deputy counsel; Barbara Lagoa, a federal appeals judge from Florida; and Allison Rushing, a federal judge from North Carolina.
Shortly after reports of Trump’s expected nomination of Barrett, groups like Time’s Up and UltraViolet quickly condemned the selection of a Supreme Court Justice prior to the outcome of the November election.
“Women are not interchangeable, and Justice Ginsburg is irreplaceable. But more fundamentally: rushing to nominate and confirm a new Supreme Court Justice – while the COVID crisis rages and voting is already underway – is irresponsible and undemocratic,” Time’s Up CEO and President Tina Tchen said in a statement.
Shaunna Thomas, the executive director of UltraViolet, said the nomination was an attempt to “ram Amy Coney Barrett through an unprecedented and illegitimate process, so that Republicans can pack the Supreme Court.”
“By placing Amy Coney Barrett on the court, Republicans are trying to reverse decades worth of progress, especially for women of color and transgender women,” Thomas said. “It is an insult to the memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg for Donald Trump, or anyone else, to believe that Amy Coney Barrett should fill her seat on the Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish was that the Senate hold until after a new president is sworn in to appoint her replacement. This request should carry weight for Senate leaders on both sides of the aisle.”