Sarah Silbiger | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Trump, speaking to reporters on the White House South Lawn, said he would like to see a vote before the November presidential election, though no firm decision has been made yet on the timing.
“I think the process could go very, very fast,” Trump said before departing for a rally in North Carolina. “I’ll be making my choice soon and when my choice is made I’ll be sending it over to Mitch in the Senate and they will do what they have to do. I think we’ll have a very popular choice whoever it may be but we’ll be sending over to the Senate.”
“If someone were to ask me now, I would say that a woman would be in first place, yes,” Trump said. “The choice of a woman I would say would certainly be appropriate.”
There are several leading contenders on Trump’s short list, all of whom are young and would likely have a decades-long career on the Supreme Court, potentially tipping the balance of power on the judicial body decisively in a conservative direction for a generation.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 48, of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago has emerged as a front-runner to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Ginsburg, three sources told NBC News on Saturday.
Allison Rushing, 38, of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals based in Virginia is also being considered for the nomination, NBC News reported. Two other judges are under serious consideration as well, according to NBC News, including Barbara Lagoa, 52, of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Georgia, and Amul Thapar, 51, of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.
Amy Coney Barrett
University of Notre Dame | Reuters
Barrett who was appointed by Trump and has served on the federal appeals court in Chicago since 2017, was on a list of potential nominees Trump updated earlier this month. She was also among those considered to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy when he retired in 2018.
To fill Kennedy’s spot, Trump ultimately picked Brett Kavanaugh instead, an establishment Republican figure who angered some on the religious right for not being conservative enough even as he set off storms of panic on the left. Axios’ Jonathan Swan reported in 2019 that Trump said he was “saving [Barrett] for Ginsburg.”
Though any confirmation fight in the midst of a presidential election will be hard fought, the battle is expected to be amplified if Barrett is picked because of her track record. In particular, critics of Barrett have zeroed in on her prolific academic writings, in which she raised…
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