WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump is expected to name Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana as his nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, sources told McClatchy.
Trump has been telling senators directly that Barrett is his choice, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that Barrett would be the nominee earlier this week, according to two sources familiar with the discussions. Another source familiar with the vetting process said that Trump had selected Barrett.
Trump has said he will announce his pick on Saturday at the White House, formally setting the stage for a battle over the high court less than six weeks from Election Day.
Barrett, 48, an appellate court judge, would bring established conservative credentials to the bench and be the youngest of the current Supreme Court justices, replacing Ginsburg, who anchored the liberal wing of the court.
Trump interviewed Barrett once before for a Supreme Court seat after the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2018, when he ultimately nominated Brett Kavanaugh.
But this time - after Trump decided early in his weeklong search to replace Ginsburg, a pioneer for women's rights, with another female justice - Barrett became an instant favorite among conservative groups lobbying the White House.
They sought a justice they would consider a reliable vote on social issues such as abortion and gun rights. Her devout Catholicism has endeared her to conservatives, including anti-abortion activists, as much as it has drawn skepticism from liberals.
Having sat as a judge for only three years, on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Barrett's thin judicial record offers senators and outside groups few of the written court opinions that often help them determine how a nominee will perform as a Supreme Court justice.
She has, on the one hand, called for a "flexible" approach to upholding Supreme Court precedent, and on the other said in her 2017 confirmation hearing that Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion, had "been affirmed many times and survived many challenges in the court."
"I will follow all Supreme Court precedent without fail," she said at the time.