Two conservative female judges are at the top of President Trump’s list of possible nominees to fill the vacancy left by late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to reports.
In a private phone call with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Trump named Amy Coney Barrett of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago and Barbara Lagoa of the 11th Circuit in Atlanta as his possible choices, The New York Times reported.
The president vowed Saturday to nominate a candidate to the Supreme Court, which would both boost the conservative majority on the bench and outrage Democrats, who say the nomination shouldn’t happen until voters have had their say in the November presidential election.
Trump promised to nominate a woman to succeed Ginsburg, an icon renowned for landmark cases on gender equality. Both Barrett and Lagoa have strongly conservative track records, indicating either of them would take the court in a sharply different direction from Ginsburg’s values.
Viewed as an anti-abortion judge, Barrett once said “life begins at conception,” according to Politico. But she’s also questioned whether the famous Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion can be overturned, focusing on government funding for the procedure, instead, according to Bloomberg Law.
“The fundamental element, that the woman has a right to choose abortion, will probably stand,” the site quoted Barrett, who is Catholic, as saying in 2013. “The controversy right now is about funding. It’s a question of whether abortions will be publicly or privately funded.”
Barrett is a former clerk to late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a connection that is said to have appealed to Trump.
The president described her as “highly respected” during his weekend phone call with McConnell, according to the Times.
Barrett, 48, was born and raised in New Orleans, according to Politico.
Lagoa made a splash near the start of her career by working as an unpaid attorney for the family of Elian Gonzalez, the Cuba-born boy whose custody case set off an international furor.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush nominated her to an appeals court, and current Gov. Ron DeSantis chose her for the state’s Supreme Court — the first Hispanic woman in that role, according to Politico.
Her conservative credentials include membership in the influential Federalist Society. Lagoa is 52 and, like Barrett, is Catholic.
Nominating Lagoa could boost Trump’s odds in the swing state of Florida.
But his push suffered a setback Sunday when Sen. Lisa Murkoswki of Alaska became the second Republican senator to say she opposes filling the Supreme Court vacancy before the election.
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