Speculation is building that Amy Coney Barrett will be President Trump's selection for the Supreme Court vacancy.
Sources toldtheNew York TimesandtheHillthat Trump plans to announce Saturday afternoon that the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge will be his third nominee to the high court, but they stressed caution because the president has a history of changing his mind. CNN first reported that Barrett's nomination was imminent and that she was Trump's favorite from the start.
"She was the plan all along,"the official toldCNN. "She's the most distinguished and qualified by traditional measures. She has the strongest support among the legal conservatives who have dedicated their lives to the court. She will contribute most to the court's jurisprudence in the years and decades to come."
When Trump selected Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 to fill the vacancy from retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, he said of Barrett, “I’m saving her for Ruth’s seat,” a Republican Senate staffer told theWashington Examiner.
A senior administration official also told theWashington Examinerthat Barrett, who visited the White House and met with Trump on Monday, is well-liked by the president and by many in the White House, with support from Vice President Mike Pence and chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Barrett's selection would confirm speculation by some top Republicans, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, who has told Republican senators he is confident that Trump is picking Barrett, according to a Republican staffer familiar with the matter.
“I’m pretty sure it’s ACB, and I’m pretty sure it’s ACB because Lindsey Graham is saying it’s ACB,” the Capitol Hill source said.
Graham's office said it hasn't been told whom Trump is picking. "We haven’t been told who he is nominating," Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop told theWashington Examiner.
Trump was considering a group of women, including 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Barbara Lagoa, and the president will announce his selection Saturday at 5 p.m.
The selection to replace late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be sent to the Senate, where confirmation could prove difficult depending on the decision of a few Republican senators.
Another Republican source told theWashington Examinerthat Trump "saw the way that Amy Coney Barrett was mistreated" last time and is likely "spoiling for a fight."