Before Justice Ginsburg’s death, President Trump had talked privately this summer about the prospect of nominating a female justice in order to boost his support among women voters, people familiar with the conversations said.
Now that the prospect has become a reality, Amy Coney Barrett’s name has emerged as a favorite after being considered for Trump’s previous Supreme Court vacancies. She was confirmed as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2017 after being nominated by the President.
Advocates pushing for Barrett last time were told by White House officials after Brett Kavanaugh was nominated that she was very much still in the running for another vacancy, according to one person familiar with the conversations. There was a belief among her supporters that Trump favored nominating her to replace a female justice like Ginsburg, the person said.
Her nomination now is far from assured: Among administration officials, there is a sense they have no room for error given the tight timing and fraught election year politics of this vacancy.
While Barrett is still a favorite, hers would be a tough confirmation (as it was in 2017) given her opposition to abortion and a devout Catholic faith that Democrats have claimed would color her legal views.
It’s not clear yet whether Trump and his aides believe a more widely accepted nominee would be a smarter route — or whether such a nominee even exists in the current political climate.
One official said the President could begin meeting with nominees next week as the White House ramps up its preparations for a confirmation.
Read about other notable names on Trump's list of nominees here.