Amy Coney Barrett will be Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to reports.
Quoting multiple senior Republican sources with knowledge of the process, CNN says the White House is indicating to allies on Capitol Hill that Ms Barrett’s intended selection will be announced on Saturday.
“The machinery is in motion,” one of the sources told the outlet, while cautioning that until Ms Barrett is announced the president could always make a last-minute change.
Mr Trump told supporters at a campaign rally on Friday that he was moving forward with a Scotus announcement tomorrow. “The Democrats don’t think we should do it,” he said. “Put them in our shoes … They would be working over the weekend. They have been not good to deal with.”
Ms Barrett, a 48-year-old conservative judge on Chicago’s 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals, held meetings at the White House on Monday and Tuesday, with the president calling her “very respected” after a private meeting.
Mr Trump did not hold any in-person meetings this week with the other frontrunner, Florida’s Cuban-American Justice Barbara Lagoa.
A former senior administration official familiar with the process told CNN that she was “the plan all along”.
“She’s the most distinguished and qualified by traditional measures. She has the strongest support among the legal conservatives who have dedicated their lives to the court. She will contribute most to the court’s jurisprudence in the years and decades to come,” the source said.
A Catholic mother-of seven, Ms Barrett is a former professor at the Notre Dame Law School. She was a finalist to replace retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2018, a spot that ultimately went to Brett Kavanaugh.
At her confirmation hearing to the appellate court, Dianne Feinstein said that her Catholic “dogma” lives loudly within her.
“And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that people have fought for for years in this country,” Ms Feinstein said.
A former law clerk to the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, Ms Barrett has never been part of a decision that has focused on abortion rights, while she has argued in favour of the Second Amendment.