Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative stalwart, is rumored to be President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court should Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat become available, according to an Axios report that cited close confidants of the president.
Barrett, 46, was considered to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy last year, but the president said he was “saving her for Ginsburg,” the report said.
Trump reportedly told people “I’m saving her for Ginsburg” as recently as two days before he nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, according to Axios. The report could not be independently verified by Fox News, but Barrett has been mentioned as a favorite by Trump in the past.
Trump advisers were concerned that Barrett, who staunchly opposes abortion, would alienate GOP moderates like Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, the report said. They were also confident that Republicans would maintain their control of the Senate and nominating another conservative judge to the Supreme Court wouldn’t be necessary at the time, the report said.
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Ginsburg, who turned 86 last month, is unlikely to retire while Trump is in office. Health problems — including undergoing lung cancer surgery in December — kept her away from the bench for several months. She returned in February and is reportedly now in good health.
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Trump appointed Barrett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2017. Barrett, who is open about her Catholicism, was grilled by Democrats during her Senate confirmation. Should Barrett be nominated to the Supreme Court, a contentious confirmation process would undoubtedly play out.