Trump 'saving' Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg if she ever resigns
Trump added Barrett, a judge on the Seventh Circuit US Court of Appeals, to his shortlist of potential nominees last year after the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2018.
President Donald Trump is saving a seat on the US Supreme Court for conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace 86-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg if she ever retires, according to reports.
Trump had added Barrett, a judge on the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, to his shortlist of potential nominees last year after the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2018.
Barret was reportedly Trump's top three picks for the open SC justice position last year before he chose Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination sparked a controversy, fuelling protests across the country after a college professor from California, Dr. Blasey Ford, alleged that he had sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.
Although Trump plans to have the 47-year-old judge on the Supreme Court, Ginsburg has stated that she plans to remain a justice at the SC for "at least five more years," according to the Daily Mail.
Ginsburg, who has become a pop culture icon, has been in and out of poor health for the past few years. She has survived a colon cancer and pancreatic cancer over the last 20 years, and underwent a third surgery last year in December for removal of cancer from her left lung. Ginsburg was also hospitalized with three broken ribs after falling in her office in November. But the sole liberal face at the apex court had a quick recovery and joined the SC bench shortly after.
Ginsburg statement has opened up a possibility of a Democratic president replacing her with their choice of nominee.
Trump, when he was initially deliberating on Kennedy's replacement, revealed that he had big plans for Barrett. The president admitted that he was "saving her for Ginsburg," according to three sources familiar with Trump's private comments.
If Barrett is appointed to the Supreme Court, she would be the only sitting justice who did not attend an Ivy League school.
Democrats have often criticized Barrett for her anti-abortion views. She once said in a University of Notre Dame magazine in 2013 that "life begins at conception."
The 47-year-old is a practicing Catholic also came under fire for her religious beliefs during her confirmation to the Seventh Circuit with Senate Judiciary Committee minority leader Dianne Feinstein grilling her on her faith.
"The dogma lives loudly within you, and that is a concern," Feinstein had said while questioning Barrett on her view of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion across the country.
However, Barrett has conceded that "judges cannot — nor should they try to — align our legal system with the Church's moral teaching whenever the two diverge."
"I think it is very unlikely at this point that the court is going to overturn Roe," she had said in 2013.
Barrett, on a panel discussion at Notre Dame, had said: "The fundamental element, that the woman has a right to choose abortion, will probably stand. The controversy right now is about funding. It's a question of whether abortions will be publicly or privately funded."
Her statement was quoted by student newspaper the Observer.