President Donald Trump intends to select Amy Coney Barrett to be the new Supreme Court justice, succeeding liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died a week ago, multiple senior Republican sources with knowledge of the process tell CNN.
In conversations with some senior Republican allies on the Hill, the White House is indicating that Barrett is the intended nominee, multiple sources said.
He is scheduled to make the announcement on Saturday afternoon.
Barrett has been the leading choice throughout the week, since Ginsburg died last Friday and the machinery of succession immediately began to turn.
She is the only potential nominee known to have met with the President in person; indeed, the president said earlier this week he had no plans to meet with one of the other frontrunners, Barbara Lagoa, despite earlier speculation about plans for a meeting at the White House.
CNN’s report said Trump was familiar with Barrett already, having strongly considered her before nominating Brett Kavanaugh to fill the last vacancy.
The news network also said it was not clear if Barrett had been told she is the choice, speculating that this might occur as late as possible to maintain secrecy around the announcement.
“The machinery is in motion,” one of the sources said told CNN. A source also said Trump allies were already being told.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has expressed comfort with Barrett as a top conservative choice to fill Ginsberg’s seat. Sen. Todd Young, who hails from Barrett’s home state of Indiana, is another advocate of the choice, the sources said.
Democrats have objected to the nomination of a new justice falling to Trump, and not to whoever wins the presaidential election just weeks away.
It has also been speculated that Democrats might raise concerns during confirmation hearings about the faith of Barrett, a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and devout Catholic. Of concern to critics is her potential openness to overturning the landmark abortion legalization ruling of Roe v. Wade.
Said CBN News, Barrett’s faith has already come under fire in previous confirmation hearings. What’s more, Sen. Maisie Hirono, a Hawaii Dem, has reportedly said she plans to focus on Barrett’s Christian beliefs if Trump does officially designate her as his nominee, CBN said.
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