Who is Trump’s Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett?

Amy Coney Barrett 'to be picked by Trump for Supreme Court'
Judge Barrett would replace iconoc liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last Friday. Source: REUTERS
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Daily US Times: The nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court comes as little surprise as the appeals court judge, long-term academic and mother of seven was the hot favourite for the Supreme Court seat.

President Trump – who as sitting president gets to select nominees – reportedly once said he was “saving her” for this moment: when elderly Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, known as RBG, died and a vacancy on the nine-member court arose.

It took Mr Trump just over a week to fast-track the 48-year-old conservative intellectual into the wings. This is his chance to tip the US Supreme Court make-up even further to the right ahead of the presidential election when he could lose power.

Barrett’s record on immigration cases and gun rights imply she would be as reliable a vote on the right of the court, as Ginsburg was on the left, said Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at George Washington University.

He adds: “Ginsburg maintained one of the most consistent liberal voting records in the history of the court. Barrett has the same consistency and commitment,” he adds.

“She is not a work-in-progress like some nominees. She is the ultimate ‘deliverable’ for conservative votes,” the George Washington University professor said.

Her vote could make the difference for decades ahead, especially on divisive issues such as the Affordable Care Act (the Obama-era health insurance provider) and abortion rights.

Barrett’s legal opinions and remarks on gay marriage and abortion have made her popular with the religious right, but earned vehement opposition from liberals.

But as a devout Catholic, she has repeatedly insisted that her faith does not compromise her work.

Amy Coney Barrett lives in South Bend, Indiana, with her husband, Jesse. Her husband is a former federal prosecutor who is now with a private firm. The couple have seven children, including two adopted from Haiti while she is the oldest of seven children herself.

She studied at the University of Notre Dame’s Law School, graduating first in her class, known for her sharp intellect and was a clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia, who, in her words, was the “staunchest conservative” on the Supreme Court at the time.

Like her mentor Scalia, she is an originalist, which is a belief that judges should attempt to interpret the words of the Constitution as the authors intended when they were written.

That strict approach is opposed by many liberals, saying there must be scope for moving with the times.

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