Sep 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Amy Coney Barrett a favorite for Trump's Supreme Court pick

A graphic image of hangars containing President Trump's two successful nominee and one with a robe containing the name Amy Coney Barrett's name above, the frontrunner for his new nominee.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a front-runner to become President Trump's nominee to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after he declared Saturday that he will choose a woman.

Of note: Axios' Jonathan Swan reported last year that Trump said of the federal judge, "I'm saving her for Ginsburg."

Between the lines: While Trump is known to change his mind, Republicans told Axios'
Margaret Talev and Mike Allen earlier Saturday before Trump's pledge to next week nominate a woman for the vacancy that Barrett, 48, remained at the top of the list.

The big picture: The former Notre Dame law professor is a favorite of conservative activists and a devout Catholic.

  • Barrett spoke in 2013 during the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, which legally protects the right for women to seek an abortion, of her "own conviction that life begins at conception," per Notre Dame Magazine.
  • Trump nominated Barrett to the U.S. Appeals Court for the Seventh Circuit in May 2017.
  • When Democrats expressed concern during her confirmation hearing about her religious beliefs, Barrett replied: "It's never appropriate for a judge to impose that judge’s personal convictions, whether they arise from faith or anywhere else, on the law."
  • Barrett was confirmed by the Senate later in 2017 and Trump added her to his list of potential Supreme Court nominees soon after.

For the record: Another leading contender is Barbara Lagoa, a judge on the U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, who was praised by Trump Saturday evening and who Republicans hope might "energize Latino voters," but NPR notes there are concerns about her "reliability as a conservative voice on the bench."

  • Lagoa was one of six women among 20 additional names Trump announced earlier this month for his Supreme Court list of some 40 potential picks. The other five are:
  • Bridget Bade, a judge on the U.S. Appeals Court for the Ninth Circuit; Martha Pacold a judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; Sarah Pitlyk; a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri; Allison Jones Rushing, a judge on the U.S. Appeals Court for the Fourth Circuit; and Kate Todd, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President. 

Go deeper: A court fight for the ages

Go deeper