Judge Amy Barrett is number one on the Supreme Court wish list for most pro-life voters and she is also the first potential high court nominee to get an in-person meeting with President Donald Trump. That’s not a surprising considering the president previous said he was “saving her” for an appointment to the Supreme Court should Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg retire or pass away.
Trump met with the federal appeals court judge at the White House and he said yesterday he expected to make his nomination prior to Ginsburg’s burial next week but likely after she lies in state at the U.S. Capitol on Friday. Barrett, a mother of seven, was a former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia and a longtime Notre Dame Law School professor.
The president told reporters he would interview other candidates and might meet with Judge Barbara Lagoa when he travels to Florida later this week. Lagoa seems to be the other most likely nominee — and she has been a Florida Supreme Court judge, is currently a federal appeals court judge, and another person with a strong Christian faith.
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Conversations in the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office have been increasingly focused on Barrett and Lagoa, according to a person granted anonymity to discuss the private deliberations.
Barrett has long been favored by conservatives, and those familiar with the process said interest inside the White House seemed to be waning for Lagoa amid concerns by some that she did not have a proven record as a conservative jurist. Lagoa has been pushed by some aides who tout her political advantages of being Hispanic and hailing from the key political battleground state of Florida.
Barrett, 48, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, was a strong contender for the seat that eventually went to Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. At the time, Trump told confidants he was “saving” Barrett for Ginsburg’s seat.
Before joining the 7th Circuit, she had made her mark in law primarily as an academic at the University of Notre Dame, where she received a law degree and later began teaching at age 30. She clerked at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, clerked at the Supreme Court for Justice Antonin Scalia, worked at the Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin law firm in Washington, D.C., then returned to Notre Dame.
Barrett has long expressed sympathy with a mode of interpreting the Constitution, called originalism, in which justices try to decipher original meanings of texts in deciding cases.
When it comes to abortion cases, Barrett has been on the pro-life side. She voted in 2016 to allow a hearing on a pro-life law from the state of Indiana that requires abortion centers to offer a proper burial or cremation for babies they kill in abortions. And in 2019, she voted to allow a hearing on another Indiana pro-life law allowing parents to be notified when their teenage daughter is considering an abortion so they can help her make a better decision for her and her baby.
Senator Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says Republicans have the votes to confirm President Donald trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the November presidential election.
“We’ve got the votes to confirm Justice Ginsburg’s replacement before the election,” he said on Fox News late Monday. “We’re going to move forward in the committee.”
Democrats, as well as GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, say any vote should wait until after the election but other Republicans say there is no reason to wait and indicate that the high court is starting a new term with important cases that should have all 9 justices considering the merits. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah has not indicated whether he will vote on a nominee but Republications control the Senate 53-47 and can afford to lose three votes and still have Vice President Mike Pence break any possible tie.
President Donald Trump said on Monday that he will nominate a new Supreme Court justice on Friday or Saturday and that his nominee will be someone who would “abide by the Constitution.” The president said he wanted to wait until after the late pro-abortion Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s funeral.
During an interview on “Fox & Friends,” Trump said that the final Senate vote for his potential nominee should be taken “before the election” and “should go very quickly.”
“The bottom line is we won the election, we have an obligation to do what’s right and act as quickly as possible,” Trump said.
“I think it will be on Friday or Saturday and we want to pay respect, it looks like we will have services on Thursday or Friday, as I understand it, and I think we should, with all due respect for Justice Ginsburg, wait for services to be over,” the president said.
Trump is reportedly looking at a female nominee to replace Ginsburg and reports indicate potential nominees include Judge Amy Coney Barrett from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Judge Barbara Logoa of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, and Judge Allison Jones Rushing of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.
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Trump touted the list of potential picks, calling them “excellent,” and “all very smart.”
“These are the smartest people, the smartest young people, you like to go young, because they’re there for a long time,” Trump said, adding that his nominee would “abide by the Constitution,” be a “good person” and have “very, very high moral values.”
“No matter how you would look at it, these are the finest people in the nation—young people, pretty young for the most part,” the president said.
Barrett is 48, Lagoa is 52, and Rushing is 38 — all three would have lengthy terms on the nation’s highest court and their impact on abortion and other key pro-life issues would be felt for decades.
Senator Ted Cruz is urging President Donald Trump to name a Supreme Court nominee who stands up for the Constitution. Meanwhile, Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley says he will not vote for any Supreme Court nominee who is not pro-life in that they believe Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.
His comments come after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s, as he said directly on Friday night after Justice Ruth Ginsburg passed away that President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court will receive a vote in the Senate.
McConnell says that nominee “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
“The Senate and the nation mourn the sudden passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life,” McConnell said in a statement Friday.
“In the last midterm election before Justice Scalia’s death in 2016, Americans elected a Republican Senate majority because we pledged to check and balance the last days of a lame-duck president’s second term. We kept our promise,” McConnell continued. “Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year.”
McConnell added that “by contrast, Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary.”
“Once again, we will keep our promise,” he said. “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
However, Lisa Murkowski, one of the two pro-abortion Republicans in the United States Senate refuses to vote on any possible Supreme Court nominee until after the inauguration of the next president in January.
“When Republicans held off Merrick Garland because nine months prior to the election was too close, we needed to let the people decide,” Murkowski said in August, according to The Hill. “And I agreed to do that. If we say now that months prior to the election is OK when nine months is not, that is a double standard and I don’t believe we should do it.”
Murkowski also commented on the issue Friday afternoon only hours before Ginsburg’s death, echoing her previous stance.
“Fair is fair,” she said.
Should President Trump be able to name a replacement, the new SCOTUS justice will likely be someone who upholds the rule of law and isn’t willing to go along with left-wing judicial activism. That would make it much easier to uphold pro-life legislation saving babies from abortion — and could realistically make it possible to envision the overturning of Roe v. Wade and its allowance for abortion on demand.
Just 9 days ago President Trump released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees from which he would nominate any future judges on the nation’s highest court if he is re-elected to a second term. The list includes the kind of conservative jurists pro-life groups support because they have a history of upholding pro-life legislation or following the rule of law rather than legislating from the bench.
Ginsburg, an idol of abortion activists, has has ruled against rights and protections for unborn babies. She also has made some discriminatory statements that are reflective of the old eugenics thinking rooted in abortion activism.
In 2019, for example, when she accepted the Berggruen Prize, she brought up poor women as a reason for her support of abortion:
Ginsburg noted that poor women are the only people being affected by lack of access to abortion.
“One of the things that happened after Roe v. Wade is that women wanted to be able to control their own destiny. They won, so they retreated. And the other side geared up, and we have the situation that we have today,” Ginsburg said. “[People should] care about it the way they did when many women didn’t have access, didn’t have the right to choose. It is so obvious that the only people restricted are poor women. One day, I think people will wake up to that reality.”
Though abortion activists portray such talk as sympathetic, their solution is not to help struggling women out of poverty but to abort their unborn babies.
In 2009, Ginsburg caused a stir when she made comments about Roe v. Wade that also hinted at eugenics.
“Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of,” Ginsburg told the New York Times.
Then, in 2014, she told Elle magazine something similar, “It makes no sense as a national policy to promote birth only among poor people.”
Ginsburg consistently rules against all abortion regulations and restrictions that reach the high court.
In 2016, she was one of the five justices who sided with abortion activists in the decision Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which struck down Texas abortion clinic regulations that protected women’s health and safety. Ginsburg and four other justices ruled that these safety regulations were an “undue burden” on women’s access to abortion.
She also sided with the Obama administration in trying to force nuns with the Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for drugs that may cause abortions in their employee health care plans.
After a majority of the high court justices sided with Hobby Lobby in a similar case, Ginsburg accused them of being sexist. In an interview with pro-abortion media icon Katie Couric, Ginsburg lashed out at her colleagues and claimed they have a “blind spot” towards women because they decided that Hobby Lobby should not be forced to pay for drugs that may cause abortions for their employees.
Last year, Ginsburg criticized fellow Justice Clarence Thomas for referring to women who have abortions as “mothers.”
And in October, former President Bill Clinton admitted that abortion was a major factor in his decision to nominate Ginsburg to the U.S. Supreme Court.