Trump mulling Appeals Court judges Barbara Lagoa, Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

Reuters , Saturday 19 Sep 2020


Two female U.S. Appeals Court judges are on President Donald Trump's short list of candidates to fill the Supreme Court vacancy opened up by the death on Friday of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a source said on Saturday.

Barbara Lagoa, a Cuban American, and Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative Catholic, were among the top contenders, the source said.

Both women were nominated to their current positions by Trump.

Lagoa, 52, a former Florida Supreme Court judge, was nominated by Trump to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in September of 2019.

Prior to that she spent less than a year on Florida's Supreme Court, where she was the first Latina judge. She previously spent more than a decade as a judge on an intermediate appeals court in Florida.

She was confirmed by the Senate in an 80-15 vote in November, as the Democrat-controlled House was holding impeachment proceedings against Trump. The bipartisan support that vote showed could make her the top candidate, one Republican donor who advises the White House said.

Barrett, a married 48-year-old mother of seven, was a legal scholar at Notre Dame Law School in Indiana before Trump appointed her to the Chicago-based 7th Circuit in 2017.

A Barrett nomination would likely be more controversial. Her strong conservative religious views have prompted abortion-rights groups to say that if confirmed by the Republican-led U.S. Senate, she would likely vote to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Barrett was confirmed by the Senate in a narrower vote than Lagoa, 55-43, in October of 2017. 

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