President Donald Trump reportedly has conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett in mind to fill U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat if she retires.
Ginsburg, 86, is the oldest Supreme Court justice, and, though she has no plans to retire, many believe her health is poor after multiple battles with cancer and a recent extended absence from the court.
Over the weekend, news broke about Trump’s plans to replace the liberal justice when she does retire. Sources close to the president said Trump wants Barrett to be the one, TownHall reports. The 47-year-old is a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and a favorite among pro-lifers.
“I’m saving her for Ginsburg,” Trump said, according to three separate sources, Axios reports.
The president reportedly said the exact same words several times, including prior to nominating Brett Kavanaugh to fill retired Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat. Barrett also was on Trump’s short list of nominees to fill the seat.
The report outlined three likely reasons for Trump’s decision:
- Some Trump advisers worried Barrett’s staunch opposition to abortion rights would lose the votes of Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). But there wasn’t consensus; some advisers argued they would ultimately “do the right thing” and vote for Barrett.
- Trump came to doubt that “the women” (his shorthand for Collins and Murkowski) would support Barrett, according to sources who discussed the situation with Trump at the time.
- Some of Trump’s aides also felt confident about picking up more Senate seats in the 2018 midterms (which they did), meaning a more conservative pick might stand a better chance later.
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However, his choice could change, and there is no guarantee that Ginsburg or another liberal justice will retire while Trump is president.
“The Supreme Court judicial selection process with the president is a very fluid one,” one source told Axios. “He floats in and out of these discussions over a period of time.”
Still, reports about Barrett bring another spark of hope to pro-life advocates who want to see the high court restore rights to unborn babies.
Pro-life leaders have said Barrett is the best potential nominee who will respect the rule of law and not make up laws from the bench. They also appreciate her strong pro-life views and believe adding a pro-life woman to the Supreme Court will help counterbalance the pro-abortion women who vote to keep Roe v Wade and its allowance for unlimited abortions in place.
Abortion activists have labeled Barrett a “dangerous religious extremist” because she is a devout Catholic and believes life begins at conception. In 2017, abortion activists lobbied heavily against her appointment to the Seventh Circuit court. Planned Parenthood’s lobbying was so deceptive that several liberal law professors even criticized the pro-abortion group for attacking her with false statements.
Top pro-abortion Democrat Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin also aggressively questioned Barrett about her faith during her nomination hearing to the Seventh Circuit in 2017. The two made it appear that people with sincere, pro-life Catholic beliefs are somehow not qualified to serve as federal judges.
“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for, for years in this country,” Feinstein said.