President Donald Trump intends to nominate conservative federal appeals court judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy on the US Supreme Court following the death of justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, CNN reported on Friday, citing Republican sources.
Mr Trump has said he would announce on Saturday his choice to replace Ginsburg, the liberal judge who died last week.
Ms Barrett (48) was appointed by Mr Trump to the Chicago-based 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017 and is known for her conservative religious views.
If confirmed, Mr Trump’s nominee would give conservatives a commanding 6-3 majority on the court at a time of intense political divisions in the United States.
Ms Barrett has been viewed as a frontrunner throughout, along with fellow federal appeals court judge Barbara Lagoa.
Mr Trump’s nominee has what appears to be a clear path to Senate confirmation before the November 3rd presidential election, with Republicans holding a 53-47 majority and only two senators in his party indicating opposition to moving forward with the process.
Democrats have objected to the Senate acting on Mr Trump’s nominee in light of the decision by Republicans in the chamber in 2016 to refuse to consider Democratic president Barack Obama’s nominee to replace Scalia after he died during a presidential election year.
Ginsburg, a champion of gender equality and various liberal causes, made history again on Friday as the first woman and first Jewish person to lie in state in the US Capitol.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden attended the ceremony a day after Mr Trump, a Republican, was greeted with jeers and boos by a nearby crowd as he visited Ginsburg’s flag-draped coffin outside the Supreme Court building. - Reuters