Following President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will soon make his nomination to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, many speculated that Judge Amy Coney Barrett is the frontrunner to receive the nomination.
That speculation got a boost when sources told Fox News that Trump met with Barrett at the White House on Monday.
The president had reportedly already narrowed his search for a nominee to five women, with two being strongly considered, one of whom is Judge Barrett, Fox reported.
The other woman who is said to be a top contender is former Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Lagoa, a Cuban-American from Miami who was appointed by Trump to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2019 and was confirmed overwhelmingly with a bipartisan vote.
Trump acknowledges speaking with potential nominees
Before his departure from the White House to campaign events in Ohio on Monday, Trump was asked about his nominee search by the press pool gathered at Marine One.
Trump noted that the vetting process for his narrowed list of potential nominees was ongoing and that his choice would likely be announced by Saturday. He also acknowledged, without providing specifics, that he would meet with at least some of the women on his shortlist, and indicated that he had already spoken with some of them.
Asked if Barrett was a “leading contender” for the nomination, Trump replied, “She’s one of the people that’s very respected, but they’re all respected. She is certainly one of the candidates, yes.”
He was also asked if he would meet with Lagoa when he traveled to Miami on Friday. “I may,” the president replied. “She’s highly thought of and has got a lot of support.”
Trump added, “I don’t know her, but I hear she’s outstanding. And she’s one of the people we’re looking at.”
Barrett “saved” as a replacement for Ginsburg.
Reports from 2019 suggested that Barrett had been set aside by Trump as a potential replacement for Ginsburg at that time, according to Axios.
The justice has already gone through the vetting process when she was reportedly on the shortlist to fill the seat left vacant by former Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement in 2018, which was ultimately filled by Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The Hill also reported on Trump’s meeting with Barrett at the White House, noting that the meeting “cements her status” as a frontrunner for Ginsburg’s replacement.