President Donald Trump officially nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the United States Supreme Court during a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House Saturday.
‘Today is it my pleasure to nominate one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds,’ Trump said, making his nomination official as Barrett stood to his side.
Barrett had been a leading contender for the nomination, having been considered for the seat now occupied by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed in 2018.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge had met with Trump this week.
President Donald Trump (left) officially nomimated Judge Amy Coney Barrett (right) Saturday at the White House
The president was joined by first lady Melania Trump at the ceremony, while Amy Coney Barrett brought her kids
Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s name was leaded Friday night as President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died September 18, giving President Donald Trump an opportunity to fill a third Supreme Court seat during his first term
Judge Amy Coney Barrett is captured leaving her home in South Bend, Indiana Saturday ahead of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court announcement
Judge Amy Coney Barrett (second from right) is photographed leaving her Indiana home Saturday followed by her husband Jesse Barrett (right) and her sons (from left) Benjamin, John Peter and Liam
Judge Amy Coney Barrett holds the hand of her daughter Juliet as son John Peter trails behind. Barrett is a mom of seven
Amy Coney Barrett brought along three of her daughters to her September 2017 confirmation hearings in September 2017
She’s a New Orleans native who attended Rhodes College and received her law degree from Notre Dame law school, where she later taught. She lives in South Bend, Indiana.
Barrett’s name as his official pick had leaked out Friday night, but the president remained coy.
‘In my own mind, yes,’ Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews when he was asked if a decision had been made.
When Barrett’s name was mentioned, ‘I haven’t said that.’
‘They’re all great. I haven’t said it was her but she is outstanding,’ Trump said.
Conservatives have heralded the pick as Barrett is the heir-apparent of Justice Antonin Scalia who died in February 2016.
Trump spoke of the Scalia connection in his Rose Garden speech remarking that Scalia once said of the SCOTUS nominee: ‘Amy Coney is the best student I ever had.’
Barrett, who clerked for Scalia, shares his belief in an originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.
White House staff readies the Rose Garden Saturday for President Donald Trump’s 5 p.m. announcement of a new Supreme Court justice
If her nomination is successful, it will give the Supreme Court a hard jerk to the right, as she’ll be replacing the court’s most liberal member, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died September 18.
Liberals fear that Barrett could chip away the ability for women to get a legal abortion, as the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade revolved around a right to privacy, which isn’t explicitly outlined in the U.S. Constitution.
Barrett would also be replacing a Jewish member of the court with a devout Catholic, bringing the number of Catholics on the bench to six.
Overall, there are nine Supreme Court justices.
Barrett’s faith will likely play a role in her forthcoming Judiciary Committee hearings.
She’s a member of the People of Praise, a small Catholic group that teaches husbands are the heads of the family.
The group was inaccurately reported to be the inspiration for Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ which is now a popular television show because the term ‘handmaid’ was used to describe a member’s personal adviser, if that adviser was female.
Members of the group also swear a loyalty oath, which some legal scholars have found problematic because they raise questions about a judge’s impartiality and independence.
During her 2017 confirmation hearings for a seat on the Chicago-based 7th Circuit, Barrett testifed that while she was a devout Catholic, those views wouldn’t bleed into her decisions on the bench.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, famously told Barrett, ‘The dogma lives loudly within you.’
Conservatives including Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican who has since retired from the Senate, knocked Democrats for deploying a ‘religious test.’
The New York Times didn’t report her membership in People of Praise until after the hearings concluded, but before the vote.
Democrats will likely bring it up during the forthcoming hearings.
Earlier Saturday, Barrett was spotted leaving her home in South Bend, Indiana with her children.
Barrett has seven children – five biological and two who were adopted from Haiti. She brought her eldest three daughters Emma, Vivian and Tess with her when she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017.
Vivian and Tess as the same age, as Vivian is one of the children adopted from Haiti.
Barrett also talked about how her youngest son, Benjamin, has special needs.
Republicans have the votes in the Senate to confirm Barrett to the Supreme Court before the November 3 presidential election.
While Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who’s facing a tough re-election fight, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski both said they didn’t think the Senate should vote on Trump’s nominee before the election, several other swing votes indicated they would – giving the president the numbers he needs.
Democrats have called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a hypocrite because he refused to hold a Senate floor vote on President Barack Obama’s final Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, who was picked to fill Scalia’s seat in March 2016.
McConnell said it was too close to the 2016 presidential election and the American people should get the opportunity to weigh in.
This was echoed by Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham who said he wouldn’t push through a nominee in the months leading up to the 2020 presidential election, suggesting a new precedent had been set.
Graham, however, reversed course, pointing to the brutal 2018 battle to get Kavanaugh on the court.
Kavanaugh was accused by Christine Blasey Ford of sexually assaulting her when they were teens.
Graham fiercely defended Kavanaugh during the hearings.
Kavanaugh still made it on the Supreme Court with a 50 to 48 vote.