Amy Coney Barrett leaves her house in Indiana along with her household forward of Trump’s announcement
President Donald Trump’s potential Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett left her home in Indiana with her husband and children on Saturday afternoon just hours before the president is expected to formally announce his decision.
Six of Barrett’s children were with her, including the son and daughter she adopted from Haiti, as they got into their family car and left their home.
Trump is expected to announce the 48-year-old, mother of seven as his pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during a ceremony at the White House starting at 5pm.
President Donald Trump ‘s potential Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett left her home in Indiana with her husband and children on Saturday afternoon just hours before the president is expected to formally announce his decision
While the president has not confirmed any name, on Friday Barrett emerged as the favorite.
One of Barrett’s daughters held her hand as the family left the house together. All were wearing formal attire with the boys dressed in suits.
Another son held the hand of her youngest child who has Down Syndrome.
According to the New York Times, a Special Air Mission military aircraft landed in South Bend from Maryland suggesting the administration sent a military jet to pick up the family.
Aides say the president did not interview another candidate this week.
President Trump is due to unveil his pick in the Rose Garden before heading to a campaign rally in Pennsylvania to celebrate the announcement.
Fans began to arrive at Harrisburg International Airport on Saturday afternoon and lined up for hours ahead of the event.
Six of Barrett’s children were with her, including the son and daughter she adopted from Haiti, as they got into their family car and left their home
Trump’s announcement will come before Ginsburg is buried beside her husband next week at Arlington National Cemetery.
On Friday, she was the first woman to lie in state at the Capitol, and mourners flocked to the Supreme Court for two days before that to pay respects.
Republican senators are already lining up for a swift confirmation of Barrett ahead of the November 3 election, as they aim to lock in conservative gains in the federal judiciary before a potential transition of power.
Trump, meanwhile, is hoping the nomination will serve to galvanize his supporters as he looks to fend off Democrat Joe Biden. He believes Barrett to be the type of Supreme Court candidate who will secure the support of his conservative base.
He had initially released two shortlists naming 45 people who he would consider for a Supreme Court vacancy but last week committed to choosing a woman.
There still remained the chance the president would go in a different direction with hours before his planned announcement – with the pick having not only a long-term impact on the nation’s laws but also political impact on the presidential elections and control of Congress.
The announcement will kick off a flurry of activity that must take place before the final confirmation vote, including public hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
White House staff prepare the Rose Garden before US President Donald Trump announces his Supreme Court nominee
The Rose Garden of the White House is decorated in US flags before President Trump announces his Supreme Court nominee
A White House source indicated the process will start right away, with the nominee on Tuesday beginning the traditional courtesy calls on individual senators in their offices, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell up first. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone is expected to shepherd the nomination.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, who mounted an angry defense of Kavanaugh during tense confirmation hearings in 2018, has signaled he expects to have Barrett confirmed by the election.
Barrett would become the fifth woman ever to serve on the top U.S. judicial body and push its conservative majority to a commanding 6-3.
Her appointment would mean that Roman Catholics hold six of the Supreme Court’s nine seats despite only accounting for 20 percent of the population.
With Trump’s fellow Republicans controlling the Senate, confirmation appears certain, though Democrats may try to make the process as difficult as possible.
Republicans hold a 53-47 Senate majority and only two Republican senators have opposed proceeding with the confirmation process.
Supporters of Trump arrive for a campaign rally at Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania on Saturday evening
Volunteer Terri Hinckley, left, of Loganville, Pennsylvania, takes the temperatures of attendees before a campaign rally for President Donald Trump on Saturday
Supporters lined up for hours ahead of the tally in Pennsylvania
Supporters decked out their cars with Trump flags as they waited for his campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday
Jacqueline Faught, a supporter of Trump, holds an umbrella before a campaign rally at Harrisburg International Airport
Barrett and her husband, Jesse Barrett, a former federal prosecutor, both graduated from Notre Dame Law School.
She would be the only justice on the current court not to have received her law degree from an Ivy League school. The eight current justices all attended either Harvard or Yale.
How her religious beliefs might guide her legal views became a focus for some Democrats during bruising confirmation hearings after Barrett’s nomination for the 7th Circuit.
That prompted Republicans to accuse Democrats of seeking to impose a religious test on Barrett’s fitness for the job.
The judge wowed social conservatives during the confirmation hearings to serve on the court, however.
She defended her Catholic face when getting grilled by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who still serves at the top Democrat on the panel, in 2017.
After looking at her speeches, ‘the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you. And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country,’ Feinstein said, in comments that became a rallying cry for Catholic conservatives who compared it as a religious test.
Trump’s potential Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is expected to be confirmed on Saturday
Judge Barrett is a devout Catholic who teaches at Notre Dame law school professor.
She is a member of a South Bend chapter of charismatic Christian community People of Praise that critics have compared to a cult.
The presumptive appointment has sparked criticism among civil rights groups. Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign – and LGBT advocacy group – said that if Barrett is confirmed she would ‘dismantle all that Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought for’.
‘An appointment of this magnitude must be made by the president inaugurated in January. The Human Rights Campaign fervently opposes Coney Barret’s nomination and this sham process,’ he said.
But other groups have supported the presumptive nomination, with Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel – a Christian ministry – calling Barrett the ‘right choice’.
‘She applies the intent and text of the Constitution to the statutes she reviews. A judge should be a neutral interpreter of the Constitution who knows what it means to interpret and apply the law rather than an activist legislator who tries to create the law,’ he said.
At Notre Dame, where Barrett began teaching at 30, she often invoked God in articles and speeches. In a 2006 address, she encouraged graduating law students to see their careers as a means to ‘building the kingdom of God.’
She was considered a finalist in 2018 for the high court before Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh for the seat that opened when Justice Anthony Kennedy retired.
As it turns out, Trump and Barrett didn’t see eye-to-eye during their first meeting – because she was wearing sunglasses.
The 48-year-old 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has become the leading contender to be Trump’s nominee to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose body will lie in state at the Capitol Friday – a first for any woman in the nation’s history.
But Barrett, a conservative who Trump installed on the Appeals court, lost out to now Justice Brett Kavanaugh when she met with Trump one-on-one in 2018.
Their meeting did not go ‘particularly well,’ sources close to the process told NPR. The judge had conjunctivitis, which prompted her to wear dark glasses during her interview with the president. She was ‘not at hear best,’ reported Nina Totenberg, who wrote about her close friendship with Ginsburg after the 87-year-old’s passing.
When Trump went with Kavanaugh instead, he told Barrett-backers he was ‘saving’ her for the Ginsburg seat, they recounted.
Even some conservatives worried her sparse judicial record made it too hard to predict how she might rule, concerned she could end up like other seemingly conservatives who wound up more moderate.
Three years on, her record now includes around 100 opinions and dissents, in which she often illustrated Scali’s influence by delving deep into historical minutiae to glean the meaning of original texts.
A 2019 dissent in a gun-rights case argued a person convicted of a nonviolent felony shouldn´t be automatically barred from owning a gun.
All but a few pages of her 37-page dissent were devoted to the history of gun rules for convicted criminals in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Barrett has twice joined dissenting opinions asking for abortion-related decisions to be thrown out and reheard by the full appeals court.
Last year, after a three-judge panel blocked an Indiana law that would make it harder for a minor to have an abortion without her parents being notified, Barrett voted to have the case reheard by the full court.
She wrote a unanimous three-judge panel decision in 2019 making it easier for men alleged to have committed sexual assaults on campus to challenge the proceedings against them.
And she was in dissent in June when her two colleagues on a 7th Circuit panel put on hold, just in Chicago, the Trump administration policy that could jeopardize permanent resident status for immigrants who use food stamps, Medicaid and housing vouchers.
Barrett and her husband Jesse are members of People of Praise, a small religious group where members have to agree to a covenant to each other. The group has been criticized by some for its strict practices
Amy Coney Barrett, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit judge, speaks during the University of Notre Dame’s Law School commencement ceremony. She has taught at the university since she was 30 years old
Amy Coney Barrett teaching a class at Notre Dame Law School in South Bend, Indiana, in 2013
Barrett is pictured second from right with her parents and her siblings
Barrett would assume the court seat with already substantial wealth, and her financial disclosures show close ties to a number of conservative groups. Barrett and her husband have investments worth between $845,000 and $2.8 million, according to her 2019 financial disclosure report.
Judges report the value of their investments in ranges. Their money is invested mostly in mutual funds, some of which are for retirement and their children´s education.
When she was nominated to the appeals court in 2017, Barrett reported assets of just over $2 million, including her home in Indiana worth nearly $425,000, and a mortgage on the property with a balance of $175,000.
In the two previous years, Barrett received $4,200 in two equal payments from Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian law firm, her financial report shows.
In 2018 and 2019, she participated in 10 events sponsored by the Federalist Society, which paid for her transportation, meals and lodging in New York, New Orleans, Washington and other cities. Several events took place at leading law schools.
Barrett was raised in New Orleans and was the eldest child of a lawyer for Shell Oil Co. She earned her undergraduate degree in English literature in 1994 at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.
She also served as a law clerk for Laurence Silberman for a year at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Between clerkships and entering academia, she worked from 1999 to 2001 at a law firm in Washington, Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin.
Like Trump’s two other appointees, Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, Barrett is young enough that she could serve for decades.
Barrett would be the youngest Supreme Court nominee since conservative Clarence Thomas was 43 in 1991.
Trump has said he wants his nominee confirmed before the election so she would be able participate in any election-related cases that reach the justices, potentially casting a key vote in his favor.
A U.S. presidential election’s outcome only once has been determined by the Supreme Court, in 2000 when it clinched Republican George W. Bush’s victory over Democrat Al Gore.
Trump has repeatedly without evidence said voting by mail, a regular feature of American elections, will lead to voter fraud. He also has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election.
This marks the first time since 1956 that a U.S. president has moved to fill a Supreme Court vacancy so close to an election.
In that year, President Dwight Eisenhower three weeks before winning re-election placed William Brennan on the court using a procedure called a ‘recess appointment’ that bypassed the Senate, a tactic no longer available for installing justices.
An emboldened Supreme Court conservative majority could shift the United States to the right on hot-button issues by, among other things, curbing abortion rights, expanding religious rights, striking down gun control laws, and endorsing new restrictions on voting rights.
Another top pick, Judge Barbara Lagoa, remains as a finalist on Trump’s list, although Trump planned no meeting with her this week.
He confirmed they didn’t meet when he landed at Joint Base Andrews Friday night before a planned campaign fundraiser at his Washington Trump hotel.
Trump spent the night at his Doral golf club, where he held a ‘Latinos for Trump’ event Friday morning.
Lagoa is Cuban American, and was confirmed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on a bipartisan vote after Trump nominated her. Trump loyalist Ron DeSantis put her on the Florida Supreme Court in 2019. Lagoa, 52, represented relatives of Elian Gonzalez during the emotional standoff over his immigration status in 1999.
According to the Times, Trump ignored advice on making Lagoa his choice.
The daughter of Cuban exiles would appeal to the Latino voters the president needs and she was previously confirmed with a bi partisan vote.
Newly sworn-in Gov. Ron DeSantis stands behind Barbara Lagoa as she speaks after he named her to the Florida Supreme Court on January 09, 2019 in Miami, Florida. She was among the finalists for Trump’s Supreme Court pick
Who is Amy Coney Barrett?
On Saturday afternoon, Trump named Amy Coney Barrett, 48, of the Chicago-based 7th Circuit and Barbara Lagoa, 52, of the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit as possible nominees.
Emerging as the favorite is Barrett, 48, a mother of seven children, including two adopted from Haiti and one with special needs.
Her involvement in a cult-like Catholic group where members are assigned a ‘handmaiden’ has caused concern in Barret’s nomination to other courts and is set to come under fierce review again if she is Trump’s pick.
The group was the one which helped inspire ‘The Handmaids Tale’, book’s author Margaret Atwood has said.
Barrett emerges now as a front runner after she was already shortlisted for the nomination in 2018 which eventually went to Brett Kavanaugh.
Trump called the federal appellate court judge ‘very highly respected’ when questioned about her Saturday.
Born in New Orleans in 1972, she was the first and only woman to occupy an Indiana seat on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Married to Jesse M. Barrett, a partner at SouthBank Legal in South Bend and former Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, the couple have five biological and two adopted children.
Their youngest biological child has Down Syndrome.
Friends say she is a devoted mother – and say with just an hour to go until she was voted into the 7th District Court of Appeals by the U.S. Senate in 2017, Barrett was outside trick-or-treating with her kids.
Barrett’s strong Christian ideology makes her a favorite of the right but her involvement in a religious group sometimes branded as a ‘cult’ is set to be harshly criticized.
In 2017, her affiliation to the small, tightly knit Christian group called People of Praise caused concern while she was a nominee for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
The New York Times reported that the practices of the group would surprise even other Catholics with members of the group swearing a lifelong oath of loyalty, called a covenant, to one another.
They are also assigned and held accountable to a personal adviser, known until recently as a ‘head’ for men and a ‘handmaid’ for women and believe in prophecy, speaking in tongues and divine healings.
Members are also encouraged to confess personal sins, financial information and other sensitive disclosures to these advisors.
Advisors are allowed to report these admissions to group leadership if necessary, according to an account of one former member.
The organization itself says that the term ‘handmaid’ was a reference to Jesus’s mother Mary’s description of herself as a ‘handmaid of the Lord.’
They said they recently stopped using the term due to cultural shifts and now use the name ‘women leaders.’
The group deems that husbands are the heads of their wives and should take authority over the family while ‘the heads and handmaids give direction on important decisions, including whom to date or marry, where to live, whether to take a job or buy a home, and how to raise children,’ the Times reported.
Unmarried members are placed living with married couples members often look to buy or rent homes near other members.
Founded in 1971, People of Praise was part of the era’s ‘great emergence of lay ministries and lay movements in the Catholic Church,’ founder Bishop Peter Smith told the Catholic News Agency.
Beginning with just 29 members, it now has an estimated 2,000.
According to CNA, some former members of the People of Praise allege that leaders exerted undue influence over family decision-making, or pressured the children of members to commit to the group.
At least 10 members of Barrett’s family, not including their children, also belong to the group.
Barrett’s father, Mike Coney, serves on the People of Praise’s powerful 11-member board of governors, described as the group’s ‘highest authority.’
Her mother Linda served as a handmaiden.
The group’s ultra-conservative religious tenets helped spur author Margaret Atwood to publish The Handmaid’s Tale, a story about a religious takeover of the U.S. government, according to a 1986 interview with the writer.
The book has since been made into a hit TV series.
According to legal experts, loyalty oaths such at the one Barrett would have taken to People of Praise could raise legitimate questions about a judicial nominee’s independence and impartiality.
‘These groups can become so absorbing that it’s difficult for a person to retain individual judgment,’ said Sarah Barringer Gordon, a professor of constitutional law and history at the University of Pennsylvania.
‘I don’t think it’s discriminatory or hostile to religion to want to learn more’ about her relationship with the group.
‘We don’t try to control people,’ said Craig S. Lent. ‘And there’s never any guarantee that the leader is always right. You have to discern and act in the Lord.
‘If and when members hold political offices, or judicial offices, or administrative offices, we would certainly not tell them how to discharge their responsibilities.’
During her professional career, Barrett spent two decades as a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, from which she holds her bachelor’s and law degrees.
She was named ‘Distinguished Professor of the Year’ three separate years, a title decided by students.
A former clerk for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, she was nominated by Trump to serve on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017 and confirmed in a 55-43 vote by the Senate later that year.
At the time, three Democratic senators supported her nomination: Joe Donnelly (Ind.), who subsequently lost his 2018 reelection bid, Tim Kaine (Va.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.), according to the Hill.
She was backed by every GOP senator at the time, but she did not disclose her relationship with People of Praise which led to later criticism of her appointment.
Barret is well-regarded by the religious right because of this devout faith.
Yet these beliefs are certain to cause problems with her conformation and stand in opposition to the beliefs of Ginsburg, who she would be replacing.
Axios reported in 2019 that Trump told aides he was ‘saving’ Barrett to replace Ginsburg.
Her deep Catholic faith was cited by Democrats as a large disadvantage during her 2017 confirmation hearing for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
‘If you’re asking whether I take my faith seriously and I’m a faithful Catholic, I am,’ Barrett responded during that hearing, ‘although I would stress that my personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear in the discharge of my duties as a judge.’
Republicans now believe that she performed well in her defense during this hearing, leaving her potentially capable of doing the same if facing the Senate Judiciary Committee.
She is a former member of the Notre Dame’s ‘Faculty for Life’ and in 2015 signed a letter to the Catholic Church affirming the ‘teachings of the Church as truth.’
Among those teachings were the ‘value of human life from conception to natural death’ and marriage-family values ‘founded on the indissoluble commitment of a man and a woman’.
She has previously written that Supreme Court precedents are not sacrosanct. Liberals have taken these comments as a threat to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide.
Barrett wrote that she agrees ‘with those who say that a justice’s duty is to the Constitution and that it is thus more legitimate for her to enforce her best understanding of the Constitution rather than a precedent she thinks clearly in conflict with it’.
Among the other statements that have cause concern for liberal are her declaration that ObamaCare’s birth control mandate is ‘grave violation of religious freedom.’
LGBTQ organizations also voiced their concern about her when she was first named on the shortlist.
She has also sided with Trump on immigration.
In a case from June 2020, IndyStar reports that she was the sole voice on a three-judge panel that supported allowing federal enforcement of Trump’s public charge immigration law in Illinois,
The law would have prevented immigrants from getting legal residency in the United States if they rely on public benefits like food stamps or housing vouchers.