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President Trump announced he's nominating federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

Why it matters: She could give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court, and her nomination sets in motion a scramble among Senate Republicans to confirm her with 38 days before the election. Sen. Mitch McConnell appears to have the votes to confirm Barrett with the current majority.

What they're saying: "I stand before you today to fulfill one of my highest and most important duties under the United States Constitution: the nomination of a Supreme Court justice," Trump said Saturday.

  • He noted that Barrett will be first mother of school-age children to serve on Supreme Court.
  • "Amy Coney Barrett will decide cases based on the text of the constitution as written," Trump said. "As Amy has said, being a judge takes courage. You are not there to decide cases as you may prefer. You are there to do your duty and to follow the law wherever it practice take you. That is exactly what Judge Barrett will do on the U.S. Supreme court.”

Barrett said that if she is confirmed, she pledges "to respond the responsibilities to the best of my ability."

  • "I love the United States, and I love the United States Constitution. I'm truly humbled at the prospect of serving on the Supreme Court," she said.
  • "Judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold."
  • "If confirmed, I would not assume the role for the sake in my own circle or certainly not for my own sake. I would assume the role to serve you. I would discharge the judicial oath which requires me to administer justice without respect to persons."

The big picture: Barrett, a 48-year-old social conservative, could push the court further to the right for decades to come.

  • In her academic writings, public appearances and decisions as a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Barrett has staked out conservative positions on a host of issues, including the Affordable Care Act, gun control legislation and immigration, Axios' Sam Baker reports.
  • While she has not ruled directly on abortion, abortion-rights opponents have reason to believe she’s on their side based on her religious background and past public statements.

Go deeper

Democrats fret about Garland for attorney general

Judge Merrick Garland. Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

If Joe Biden picks Merrick Garland to be his attorney general, he could cost his party control of one of the most important judicial appointments in America — and many Democrats do not want the president-elect to take that chance.

How it works: Biden still hasn't named his choice to lead the Justice Department, and if he taps Garland, it would open up his seat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. If Democrats don’t win both Georgia Senate runoff seats next month, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would almost surely prevent the president-elect from filling it.

Dec 18, 2020 - Health

Supreme Court denies religious school challenge to Kentucky's COVID-19 restrictions

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (right). Photo: Jon Cherry via Getty

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to block Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s executive order halting in-person instruction at most K-12 schools, including religious schools, through the end of the year, noting that the order "effectively expires this week or shortly thereafter."

Why it matters: The decision follows several cases that examined whether state coronavirus restrictions affecting religious institutions, including places of worship violate, the First Amendment.

Dec 17, 2020 - Sports

Knives out for the NCAA

The U.S. Supreme Court Building. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The NCAA's strict limits on college athletes' compensation get less tenable every day.

Driving the news: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case challenging the NCAA's ban on certain education-related benefits, like laptops and scholarships for graduate school.