President Donald Trump has said he would nominate a woman to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at the age of 87 and was a champion of gender equality.
During the vetting process, Trump’s clear favorite has become is all-but-certain nominee for this weekend.
Amy Coney Barrett, 48, is widely considered to be the clear front-runner. She was previously considered as a finalist for Trump’s second nomination to the high court, which eventually went to Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Barrett has been on Trump’s shortlist since the 2016 election. The Horn News reported in April 2019 she was Trump’s next choice, should Ginsburg retire or pass away.
Barrett was the first finalist interviewed by the president this week, giving her a clear edge over the other potential picks.
A devout Catholic mother of seven, she is a favorite of religious conservatives and considered a strong opponent of abortion.
Barrett was nominated by Trump to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and confirmed by the Senate in October 2017 by a 55-43 vote. The 7th Circuit, based in Chicago, covers the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
In her nearly three years on the bench, Barrett’s judicial record includes the authorship of around 100 opinions and several telling dissents in which Barrett displayed her clear and consistent conservative bent.
Barrett served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. She worked briefly as a lawyer in private practice in Washington, D.C., before returning to the University of Notre Dame Law School, her alma mater, to become a professor in 2002.
During her Senate confirmation hearing for the appeals court in 2017, Democrats pressed Barrett on whether her strong religious views would impact her potential rulings on abortion and other hot-button social issues.
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Barrett responded that she takes he Catholic faith seriously, but said that “I would stress that my personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear in the discharge of my duties as a judge.”
She is married to Jesse Barrett, a former federal prosecutor who is a partner at a law firm in South Bend, Indiana. The couple have seven children, including two adopted from Haiti and one child with special needs.
The Associated Press contributed to this article