SHARE

President Donald Trump is expected to announce Saturday that he is nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court as he aims to put a historic conservative stamp on the high court just weeks before the election.

Advertising Read more

Trump said Friday he had made up his mind and it was “very exciting,” without giving away the name, aiming to maintain some suspense around his personal announcement. But the White House indicated to congressional Republicans and outside allies that the pick was Barrett.

“Well I havent said it was her, but shes outstanding,” Trump said of the Indiana federal judge.

Conservative groups and congressional allies are laying the groundwork for a swift confirmation process for her, even before Trump makes the selection official in a Rose Garden ceremony Saturday evening. They, like the president, are wasting little time moving to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, organizing multimillion-dollar ad campaigns and marshalling supporters both to confirm the pick and to boost Trump to a second term.

The likely shift in the courts makeup — from Ginsburg, a liberal icon, to an outspoken conservative — would be the sharpest ideological swing since Clarence Thomas replaced Justice Thurgood Marshall nearly three decades ago.

Ever the showman, Trump remained coy about his choice Friday evening as he returned from a campaign swing. When asked whether lawmakers were being told it was Barrett, Trump responded with a nod on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews, before replying, “Is that what theyre telling you?”

“Youll find out tomorrow,” he went on to say, flashing a wide smile. “Look, theyre all great. It could be any of one them. It could be actually anyone on the list.”

For Trump, it will provide a much-needed political assist as he tries to fire up his base. For conservatives, it will mark a long-sought payoff for their at-times uncomfortable embrace of Trump. And for Democrats, it will be another moment of reckoning, with their party locked in a bitter battle to retake the White House and the Senate.

Senate Republicans are readying for confirmation hearings in two weeks, with a vote in the full chamber now expected before Election Day. Democrats are essentially powerless to block the votes.

“Im confident hes going to make an outstanding nomination,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News. “The American people are going to take a look at this nominee and conclude, as we are likely to conclude, that she well deserves to be confirmed to the US Supreme Court.”

“Theyre hell-bent on getting this done as fast as possible,” said Democratic Senate whip Dick Durbin. “They think it helps Donald Trump get reelected.”

Outside conservative groups, who have been preparing for this moment for 40 years, are planning to spend more than $25 million to support Trump and his nominee. The Judicial Crisis Network has organized a coalition that includes American First Policies, the Susan B. Anthony List, the Club for Growth and the group Catholic Vote.

“One of the things weve learned from the histories of confirmation processes, the intensity of the fight has more to do with the previous occupant of the seat than who the nominee is,” said JCNs Carrie Severino. “We expect this to be a very high stakes confirmation.”

Within hours of Ginsburgs death, Trump made clear his intention to nominate a woman in her stead, after previously putting two men on the court and as he struggles to mitigate an erosion in support among suburban women.

Trumps announcement Saturday 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.

The White House has already concluded a round of vetting this month, as Trump released an additional 20 names he would consider for the court. He has challenged Democrat Joe Biden to list possible nominees, too.

Trump had said he was considering five women for Ginsburgs seat, but Barrett was at the White House at least twice this week, including for a Monday meeting with Trump. He is not known to have met with any of the other contenders.

The staunch conservatives 2017 appeals court confirmation on a party-line vote included allegations that Democrats were attacking her Catholic faith. Trump allies see that as a political windfall for them should Democrats attempt to do so once again. Catholic voters in Pennsylvania, in particular, are viewed as aRead More – Source