Catholic Amy Coney Barrett front-runner as Trump signals Supreme Court nomination plans

CNA Staff, Sep 19, 2020 / 10:00 am (CNA).- President Donald Trump on Saturday signaled he would soon nominate a potential replacement to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday evening at 87. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a Catholic mother of seven, is widely reported to be the front-runner in the president’s deliberations regarding a nominee.

“.@GOP We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!” the president tweeted Saturday morning.


.@GOP We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2020


Barrett, a federal judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, has been reported to lead the president’s short list, and was also a contender for Trump’s second Supreme Court nomination in 2018, before the president nominated Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

According to Axios, Trump reportedly in 2018 told confidantes of Barrett that he was “saving her for Ginsburg” in explanation of his decision not to appoint her to the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Appointed a federal judge in 2017, Barrett had been a professor at Notre Dame’s law school until her nomination was confirmed. Barrett has twice been honored as “Distinguished Professor of the Year” at Notre Dame, and had clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

As a nominee to the federal bench, Barrett was pointedly questioned by Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee in 2017 on how her Catholic faith would influence her decisions as a judge on cases of abortion and same-sex marriage.

Pro-life groups hailed Barrett’s 2017 appointment to the bench.

Barrett is the mother of seven children, including two adopted from Haiti; one of her children has special needs. She is also reportedly a member of the People of Praise charismatic community, which was criticized as a “cult” during her 2017 confirmation hearings.

Bishop Peter Smith, a member of a related association of priests, told CNA in 2018 that there is not anything unusual or out of the ordinary about the group, which is a “covenant community,” mostly of laity.

“We’re a lay movement in the Church,” Smith explained. “There are plenty of these. We continue to try and live out life and our calling as Catholics, as baptized Christians, in this particular way, as other people do in other callings or ways that God may lead them into the Church.”

Whether or not he selects Barrett, Trump’s likely nomination of a Supreme Court Justice to replace GInsburg has become a matter of serious political controversy, in an already fractious U.S. political and social context.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged Friday that a Trump Supreme Court nominee will be voted on for confirmation by the United States Senate, even while there are fewer than seven weeks until the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Democratic leaders have pushed back, and pointed to McConnell’s refusal to consider Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in March 2016, seven months before that year’s presidential contest. At the time, Republicans said that it would be more appropriate to wait until after the November election to fill the Court vacancy.

McConnell defended his decision Friday night, saying that “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. Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year.”

“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, we will keep our promise,” McConnell said.

Also reportedly on Trump’s short list are is 11th Circuit Court judge Britt Grant, 6th Circuit Court Judges Amul Thapar and Joan Larsen, and 10th Circuit Judge Allison Eid.

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  1. I hope this is true and she gets the nomination. The Democrats love to talk about “precedent” when it suits their needs but not when they favor another decision…like keeping the churches closed in Nevada.Then they are glad the judges either make a clearly partisan decision or “legislate” new laws not in evidence in judicial past decisions. It is wise of Trump to select a woman for this job as it would immediately strike out one Dem objection which would sink any male candidate, no matter how qualified. The down side is that her Catholic stand on abortion would play as a major negative for the Dems. The plus side: she has walked the talk by adopting two kids, the libs famously jumping on pro-lifers for wanting the baby to be born and then walking away. They can’t use that stick here. The timing of Ginsburgs death is very unfortunate for the animosity it will now provoke in filling this seat. She surely knew she was dying some time ago and to hang on hoping Trump would not be re-elected seems extremely mean spirited. Liberals don’t “own” that seat. Even resigning 6 months ago would have been helpful. Further if wanting another Lib to replace her was her only motive for hanging on to the bitter end, she could have resigned during the Obama administration and assured herself of that outcome. I believe that there should be a mandatory retirement age for all Supreme Court justices. And it should be well younger than Ginsburg’s age of 87. Dems have threatened to stack the Supreme Court by appointing many extra justices who toe their party line if they get back into power. In other word, they wish to “fix” the court so every decision goes their way. If they succeed in that, it will be the end of US Democracy as we know it.

  2. Truth, love for life created in the womb, the elderly, adherence to God’s order of nature is inherent, requires no justification. Justice knows no time frame. Neither does it serve Justice to delay and perhaps lose the moment for the most just of causes. We may and should perceive this moment as Providence.

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