Her confirmation would shift the high court dramatically to the right.
On Saturday, Sept. 26, President Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. The decision will likely launch a volatile confirmation battle ahead of Election Day.
On the evening of Ginsburg’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he intended to move forward with the process. “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” he said in a prepared statement that night, less than two months before Nov. 3. It upends his own precedent from 2016, when he refused to hold hearings for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, for nearly eight months.
Coney Barrett is a judge for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which oversees Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. She was nominated to the position by Trump in 2017, and confirmed by McConnell’s Senate. In 2018, Trump considered her for Anthony Kennedy’s seat, but nominated Justice Brett Kavanaugh instead. Her confirmation would shift the court irrefutably to the right, perhaps for decades.
Before her roughly three years as a judge, Coney Barrett, 48, was a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, where she taught federal courts, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation. She graduated summa cum laude from Notre Dame Law School in 1997, and worked in private practice before returning to her alma mater as a professor in 2002. She lives in South Bend, Indiana with her husband and seven children.
Her appointment appeals to evangelical voters, who Trump is likely aiming to court, given her reliably conservative stances on issues such as abortion and gun rights. Much like her former boss, Justice Antonin Scalia, she takes a strong originalist view of the law. (She clerked for Scalia from 1998 to 1999.) If she is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she would be Trump’s third appointment to the Supreme Court, the most in recent history dating back to Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon.
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