President Trump met Monday at the White House with Judge Amy Coney Barrett — the favorite to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg — and vowed to announce his pick by week’s end.
Trump said he expects to break the news before the burial of Ginsburg, the court’s liberal icon, at Arlington National Cemetery.
The president told reporters he was still going to be interviewing other candidates and might meet with Judge Barbara Lagoa when he travels to Florida later this week. But Barrett has long been favored by conservatives, and those familiar with the process said interest inside the White House seemed to be waning for Lagoa amid concerns by some that she did not have a proven record as a conservative jurist.
Democrats, led by presidential nominee Joe Biden, are protesting the Republicans’ rush to replace Ginsburg, saying voters should speak first, on Election Day, Nov. 3, and the winner of the White House should fill the vacancy.
Trump dismissed those arguments, telling “Fox & Friends,” “I think that would be good for the Republican Party, and I think it would be good for everybody to get it over with.”
Ginsburg, 87, died Friday of metastatic pancreatic cancer. She will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol this week, the first woman ever accorded that honor. First, her casket is to be on view mid-week on the steps of the high court. She is to be buried next week in a private service at Arlington National Cemetery.
Conversations in the White House and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell’s office have been increasingly focused on Barrett and Lagoa, according to a person granted anonymity to discuss the private deliberations.
An appellate court judge, Barrett was a strong contender for the seat that eventually went to Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. At the time, Trump told confidants he was “saving” Barrett for Ginsburg’s seat.