President Trump (R) announced his nomination of appellate judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court Saturday to fill the vacancy opened by the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Barrett is currently a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, where she has served since 2017. Her earlier legal experience includes 15 years on the faculty of Notre Dame Law School and a clerkship with then-Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. President Trump considered Barrett to fill the vacancy opened by Anthony Kennedy’s 2018 retirement before nominating Brett Kavanaugh for the spot.
In announcing Barrett’s nomination, President Trump said, “She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution.”
Barrett said in reaction to her nomination, “This evening, I also want to acknowledge you, my fellow Americans. The president has nominated me to serve on the United States Supreme Court, and that institution belongs to all of us. If confirmed, I would not assume that role for the sake of those in my own circle and certainly not of my own sake. I would assume this role to serve you, I would discharge the judicial oath, which requires me to administer justice without respect to persons, do equal right to the poor and rich, and faithfully and impartially discharge my duties under the United States constitution.”
The vacancy was opened by the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sept. 18. Ginsburg, 87, died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton (D) in 1993 to fill the vacancy opened by Byron White’s retirement. At the time of her death, Ginsburg was among four members of the nine-member court appointed by a Democratic president.
Barrett is President Trump’s third appointment to the court. He earlier appointed Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy caused by Antonin Scalia’s death in 2016 and Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacancy caused by Anthony Kennedy’s retirement in 2018.
Barrett’s nomination will advance to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will conduct an investigation involving background checks, one-on-one interviews with committee members, and a final confirmation hearing. Should the committee approve of Barrett’s nomination, she will advance to a vote before the full Senate. Recent nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court have been confirmed by narrow margins. Neil Gorsuch won confirmation by a 54-45 vote, while Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by a 50-48 vote.