Sen. Lee: Trump Likely to Pick Barrett for Supreme Court Vacancy

by EditorL

President Donald Trump will likely choose Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court vacancy he’s seeking to fill, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) told The Epoch Times.

“I’ll be surprised at this point if he chooses anyone else. She seems to be exactly what he’s looking for,” Lee said in an interview with “American Thought Leaders” published on Thursday night.

Barrett, 48, is a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, a position the Senate confirmed her to in 2017. She is a former law clerk to late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

“She’s been educated and trained in the mold of not only her former boss, Justice Scalia, but my former boss, Justice [Samuel] Alito, and, and Justice Clarence Thomas. Those are the kinds of justices he’s been promising to nominate,” Lee said.

“And she is a textualist originalist, she views her role as a judge as involving the interpretation of the law based on what it says based on what words are used, and how those words were understood publicly at the time of their adoption, either into the Constitution or into whatever statutes being interpreted. It’s exactly the kind of justice President Trump wants, and that the country needs right now. So I think it will be her and that it should be.”

Trump wants to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last week, with a woman.

Trump has confirmed two of the five names on his shortlist: Barrett and Barbara Lagoa, 52, a former Florida Supreme Court justice who now serves as a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network, told The Epoch Times that both women have shown the courage that’s a hallmark of a Trump nominee, pointing to Lagoa’s recent refusal to recuse herself from a voting rights case despite pressure to do so.

“She was able to stand firm,” Severino said.

Judicial Crisis Network works to confirm judges that are dedicated to adhering to the Constitution and the rule of law. The group helped confirm both of Trump’s Supreme Court nominees, including Brett Kavanaugh.

Barrett’s qualifications include “her commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law,” with a well-developed record as a scholar and a judge, Severino added, describing her as the perfect nominee.

Allison Jones Rushing, 38, a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, is also rumored to be under consideration.

Like Barrett, Rushing faced a faith-based inquisition during her confirmation hearings, but displayed confidence and calm, according to Severino.

“The fact that she was willing to stand up for her principles speaks a lot to her courage,” she told The Epoch Times.

Trump plans to announce his choice at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Within a week or two of the nomination, the Senate Judiciary Committee will start its work on the nominee, including hearing from her and other witnesses.

About a week after that, the committee will vote on whether to advance the nominee to the full Senate, Lee said.

With just over a month left before the Nov. 3 election, some Democrats, and a smaller number of Republicans, are pushing to delay consideration of a nominee until they can see whether Trump wins reelection or Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden unseats him.

Barrett’s choice would also help in that matter, the senator said.

“Judge Barrett was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and has been a judge since then, just about three years ago,” he said.

“There was a pretty comprehensive background check done on Judge Barrett, a significant paper record and file created in connection with that investigation. They can update that and supplement it for any additional information they might need, within a couple of weeks’ time. That still gives us time to then hold a hearing process that will take the better part of a week, and ask questions of her in person and in writing, and vote on the nominee in committee and get it to the Senate floor. We can do all that between now and the election.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber

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