Two women have apparently floated to the top of President Trump’s list of potential justices to fill the Supreme Court seat left by Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she passed away on Friday.
Judges Amy Coney Barrett in Chicago and Barbara Lagoa in Atlanta are top picks to fill the seat, according to multiple reports. Trump has pledged to fill the seat with a female jurist who, if confirmed, would become the fifth woman ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
“It will be a woman, a very talented, very brilliant woman,” Trump told a crowd of supporters in Fayetteville, N.C., on Saturday. “We have numerous women on the list. I built this incredible list of brilliant people.”
Barrett, 48, has sat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since October 2017. President Trump nominated her to the post from her job as a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame. Barrett is widely seen as a strong conservative with an originalist judicial philosophy, meaning the law should be interpreted through the original understanding of the authors.
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) grilled Barrett, a Catholic mother of seven children, over her religious views during her confirmation hearing.
As The Daily Wire reported at the time:
Feinstein said to Barrett, “When you read your 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 for years in this country.” That seemed to be a loud hint referencing Feinstein’s fanatical devotion to Roe v. Wade. During the hearings for Neil Gorsuch to be a Supreme Court justice, Feinstein said, “The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld Roe’s court finding, making it settled law for the last 44 years,” then cited 14 cases where the high court upheld the “core holding” of Roe and 39 decisions that “reaffirmed” Roe. She added, “If these judgments when combined do not constitute super precedent, I don’t know what does.”
Feinstein’s comments came after Barrett had already stated, “It is never appropriate for a judge to apply their personal convictions whether it derives from faith or personal conviction.”
Barrett was on Trump’s shortlist to replace former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy after he retired from the bench in June 2018. Ultimately, Trump chose Brett Kavanaugh to succeed Kennedy.
Lagoa, 52, sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Prior to joining the federal bench in November 2019, Lagoa was the first Hispanic woman to sit on the Florida Supreme Court, according to Politico. Lagoa was confirmed to the Eleventh Circuit in a bipartisan 80-15 vote in the Senate, giving her a strong case as a nominee for President Trump to choose as a replacement for Ginsburg.
Lagoa is a favorite of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who nominated her to the state Supreme Court.
“She has been the essence of what a judge should be,” DeSantis said announcing her nomination.