Trump meets with Judge Coney Barrett, a top nominee to fill Justice Ginsburg seat

Barrett was among those being considered to fill the open Supreme Court seat in 2018 that went to Brett Kavanaugh

Updated: September 22, 2020 - 7:00pm

President Trump met Monday with Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the conservative jurist who has emerged as a frontrunner to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court bench.

The meeting was held at the White House. Ginsburg died Friday from complications from cancer.

Trump said he will announce by week's end a nominee to fill the Ginsburg seat, hurrying along a nomination and confirmation process that the White House and Senate Republicans hope to finalize prior to the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Trump has said he will interview other candidates for the position over the next few days, possibly including Judge Barbara Lagoa, in Miami, where he will visit later this week. The Associated Press reports that Senate GOP leadership conversations have primarily centered on Barrett and Lagoa as the potential nominees. 

Judge Barrett's name was also on the shortlist for possible Supreme Court picks in 2018, when now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh was selected. At the time, the president reportedly told White House insiders that he was "saving" Barrett to fill Justice Ginsburg's seat. 

Barrett, 48, presently serves on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, in Chicago. She previously taught at the University of Notre Dame, from which she received her law degree. Barrett also clerked for late-Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and worked in the private sector. 

Senate Democrats and Republicans are gearing up for a brutal battle over the nomination process. Though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the body has "more than sufficient time" to confirm a nominee before the election, no high court nominee's confirmation process has moved so rapidly since Sandra Day O'Connor was selected by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. 

While it would take just four Republican senators to thwart a quick approval for the president's nominee, only two – Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine – have voiced their opposition to holding a confirmation vote ahead of the election.

Colorado GOP Sen. Cory Gardner, once considered a potential defector from the GOP vote, said Monday that he would participate in a vote for the president's nominee, and Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney said Tuesday that he would consider and vote on a nominee put forth by President Trump this year.

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