A closer look at Judge Amy Coney Barrett
Supreme Court frontrunner’s perceived views on abortion are being scrutinized.
President Trump on Thursday praised potential Supreme Court pick, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett, during an appearance on the "Brian Kilmeade Show" on Fox News Radio, although he said he had not yet made up his mind on the selection and said he is considering five women for the seat opened by the death of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Trump has said he will announce the pick at 5 p.m. on Saturday. He previously said he is waiting until then to make the pick out of respect for Ginsburg, whose memorial services are going on this week. Trump said Thursday that he would head to the Supreme Court to pay respects to the women's rights trailblazer and legal luminary after his appearance on Kilmeade's show.
"I don't want to say who it is, you don't know that it's her," Trump said in response to a question from Kilmeade about what it would take for Barrett not to be his nominee. "She's incredible, an incredible person, brilliant and everything else."
"It's a woman," Trump said of who his eventual nominee would be. "I have five women that I'm very much looking at … I think in my mind I have one that I, I like them all. I mean, to be honest, I could put any of the five, they're all genius."
Trump would not commit to saying he would meet with 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Barbara Lagoa, another one of the reported shortlisters. Also reportedly being considered are 4th Circuit Judge Allison Jones Rushing and 6th Circuit Judge Joan Larsen.
The president also reacted to the fact many Senate Republicans have come out to say they support moving a nominee ahead of the presidential election, as Trump has said that he wants. The GOP, barring unexpected defections, appears to have the votes to get a Trump nominee across the finish line — though many obstacles remain in the confirmation process.
On Wednesday Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, one of just two Senate Republicans along with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to say that they oppose moving a nominee before the election, softened her position — saying she was not committed to voting against a nominee if there is eventually a vote before the election. That could further tip the confirmation math in Republicans' favor.
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"The Republican party is extremely united, I think it's going to go very, very quickly," Trump said of the Senate confirmation of his yet-to-be-named nominee. "It would be very hard to vote against this person."
Democrats have accused Republicans of rank hypocrisy for moving on a Supreme Court nominee so close to an election after refusing to even hold hearings in 2016 on then-President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Republicans say things are different this time because the GOP Senate majority was elected in 2014 to serve as a bulwark against Obama and in 2018 to support Trump.
The Senate last considered a Supreme Court nominee during a presidential election year in 1940 when it voted to confirm Justice Frank Murphy in January of that year. It also confirmed justices in Feb. 1932 and Jan. 1916.
Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.
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