(BRPROUD) — President Donald Trump has formally named Jefferson Parish native Amy Coney Barrett as his pick to succeed late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Trump’s official announcement Saturday puts the New Orleans-born, Old Metairie-raised Barrett at the center of efforts to cement conservative dominance on the nation’s high court for years, if not decades.
“It is a very proud moment indeed,” Trump said at the White House’s Rose Garden late Saturday afternoon. “She is a woman of sterling credentials and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution.”
Barrett, 48, graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican High School in 1990, after serving as a senior class vice president. The school named her an Aluma of the Year in 2018.
After attending Rhodes College in Memphis, Barrett relocated to Indiana. She got a law degree from the University of Notre Dame, taught there for 15 years, and worked in private practice before joining the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2017. She had also clerked for late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Barrett has seven children with Northern District of Indiana Assistant U.S. Attorney Jesse Barrett, her husband of 18 years. They adopted two of their children from Haiti.
Barrett, who would replace one of the court’s liberal icons, is a reliable voice against abortion. Evangelicals consider the devout Catholic a sure vote to overturn the court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which has shielded a pregnant person’s choice to end a pregnancy since 1973.
President Trump and the U.S. Senate’s Republican majority hope to get Barrett confirmed by the Nov. 3 election. Doing so, they argue, would ensure Trump a fifth conservative justice to side with him should legal questions over the electoral process arise — and should Chief Justice John Roberts side with liberal justices, as he has done in certain cases.
With 38 days before Election Day, Democrats claim Trump is rushing Barrett’s confirmation process for political gain. Members of the minority party recall how Republicans denied hearings for Judge Merrick Garland, then-President Barack Obama’s pick to succeed late Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. Republicans suggested that year’s Election Day — then more than 200 days away — was too close for them to support the confirmation process.
In the case of Barrett, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell maintains the Senate has a mandate to confirm a nominee, despite the tight timeline, because Republicans control both the presidency and the upper chamber.
McConnell intends to hold confirmation hearings for Barrett the week of Oct. 16, with a floor vote likely by the end of October.