President Donald Trump reportedly intends to select Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Multiple senior Republican sources with knowledge of the process” have confirmed the president’s decision, according to a CNN report Friday:
In conversations with some senior Republican allies on the Hill, the White House is indicating that Barrett is the intended nominee, multiple sources said.
All sources cautioned that until it is announced by the president, there is always the possibility that Trump makes a last-minute change but the expectation is Barrett is the choice.
“She was the plan all along,” said one former administration official. “She’s the most distinguished and qualified by traditional measures. She has the strongest support among the legal conservatives who have dedicated their lives to the court. She will contribute most to the court’s jurisprudence in the years and decades to come.”
Barrett garnered outsized attention in 2017, when Trump nominated her to a seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. During her Senate confirmation hearing, Barrett faced attacks for her Catholic faith.
At the time, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) expressed “concern” over the then-Notre Dame law professor’s Christian beliefs.
“It is never appropriate for a judge to apply their personal convictions whether it derives from faith or personal conviction,” Barrett responded.
That, however, wasn’t enough to convince Feinstein, who told Barrett: “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern.”
Earlier this week, Democrats began gearing up for their attacks against Barrett.
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Calif.), who — alongside Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) — has attacked the Catholic faith of Trump’s past appointees, made clear she intends to zero in on Barrett’s Christianity.
When asked if personal religious beliefs should be off-limits during the confirmation process, Hirono simply replied: “No.”
“They keep telling us that none of the things they wrote or said yesterday should infringe on their decision, but how can we be assured that they can be objective?” she said. “Why should we say you get a lifetime appointment so that you can reflect your ideological agenda in your decision making?”
Similarly, Feinstein refused to say whether she would again target Barrett for her Catholic beliefs. Asked if she will pursue the same line of questioning as she did in 2017, the California senator said: “I’m not going to go there. Let’s wait til she’s nominated.”
Trump is slated to formally announce his SCOTUS nominee from the White House Rose Garden Saturday afternoon.