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Trump Announces Amy Coney Barrett As Nominee For Supreme Court Seat

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President Trump on Saturday announced he has chosen Amy Coney Barrett as his pick to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — a move that could significantly shift the nation’s highest court to the right if she’s confirmed by the Senate.

“Today it is my honor to nominate one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds to the Supreme Court,” Trump said in the Rose Garden alongside Barrett. “She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution — Judge Amy Coney Barrett.”

Judge Amy Coney Barrett applauds as President Donald Trump announces Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Sept. 26, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Judge Amy Coney Barrett applauds as President Donald Trump announces Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Sept. 26, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


Barrett, a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, had been considered by Trump for the vacancy left by the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2018. Trump eventually chose now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh instead, but a source told Fox News that she had been at the front of his mind to fill a vacancy by Ginsburg.

Speaking at the White House, Barrett said she understood that “this is a momentous decision for a president and if the Senate does me the honor of confirming me, I pledge to discharge the responsibilities of this job to the very best of my ability.”

“I love the United States and I love the United States Constitution. I am truly humbled by the prospect of serving on the Supreme Court,” she said.

Both Trump and Barrett paid tribute to Ginsburg, with Trump describing her as a “legal giant and a pioneer for women.”

Ginsburg, a consistent vote on the court’s liberal wing, died last week at 87. The announcement sets up what is likely to be a fierce confirmation battle as Republicans attempt to confirm Barrett before the election on Nov. 3.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised to put a nominee up for a vote, despite the objections of Senate Democrats — who cite McConnell’s refusal to give Obama nominee Merrick Garland a hearing in 2016 as why a nominee should not be considered in an election year.

McConnell praised Barrett in a statement, saying Trump “could not have made a better decision.” 

How Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination came about

“Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an exceptionally impressive jurist and an exceedingly well-qualified nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States,” he said.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham hailed Barrett as “highly qualified in all the areas that matter – character, integrity, intellect, and judicial disposition.”

“As the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I’m very committed to ensuring that the nominee gets a challenging, fair, and respectful hearing,” he said. “We move forward on this nomination knowing that the President has picked a highly qualified individual who will serve our nation well on the highest court in the land.”

Democrats, meanwhile, continued to object to the timing of the nomination, and also sought to frame the battle as one over health care. They noted the looming COVID-19 pandemic and a legal battle over ObamaCare, as well as concerns that a conservative court could overturn Roe v Wade — the landmark 1973 ruling on abortion.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, declared a vote for Barrett as “a vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act and eliminate protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions.”