Multiple media outlets reported today that President Donald Trump has selected Chicago-based 7th Circuit Justice of the U.S. Court of Appeals Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Barrett graduated with a Juris Doctor summa cum laude from Notre Dame law school in 1997. After law school Barrett spent two years as a judicial law clerk first for Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Washington D.C. circuit for one year and then for late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia from 1998-1999. After, she went into private law practice in Washington D.C. until 2002.
In 2002, she returned to her law alma mater Notre Dame Law School and became a professor and eventually Chair of the department. In 2017, President Trump nominated Barrett to the Chicago-based 7th Circuit. Her confirmation brought about extreme controversy due to her Catholic faith. She was eventually confirmed to the seat in a party line vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and then later by the full Senate with only 3 Democrats breaking ranks. Barrett is the first and to date only woman to occupy an Indiana seat on the Seventh Circuit.
Barrett was allegedly one of the three finalists for the Anthony Kennedy vacancy in 2018, which was ultimately given to Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Business Insider reported back in July 2019 that Trump was allegedly saving Barrett’s nomination to the high court in the event of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s retirement or death during his presidency.
Barrett’s nomination is not supposed to be made official until tomorrow. According to the New York Times, Barrett was the only known candidate to have interviewed for the job. If confirmed by the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate, Barrett would become the 5th woman in history to join the Supreme Court and the first to be seated on the bench since Elena Kagan, when former President Barrack Obama selected her in August 2010. According to the Chicago Tribune, Barrett’s appointment would be the first Supreme Court justice with a link to the State of Illinois since John Paul Stevens in 1975. At 48 years of age, Barrett also will become the youngest justice on the court.
Barrett’s nomination less than 60 days before the General Election is also expected to lead to fierce confirmation hearings in the weeks to come.