President Donald Trump will announce his decision on who to nominate to the Supreme Court on Saturday, and CNN and the New York Times reported Friday per their sources that Trump intends to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the court.
Trump's formal announcement comes at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Barrett’s likely nomination will come just eight days following the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who laid in state in the US Capitol on Friday.
Barrett, 48, was previously confirmed by the US Senate to the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. Her vote garnered the support of three Democrats, Joe Donnelly, Tim Kaine, and Joe Manchin.
She is a disciple of Justice Antonin Scalia, serving as his clerk in 1998 and 1999. Given her conservative bona fides, she is expected to give the Supreme Court a clear conservative advantage, fueling hopes from the evangelical right to overturn Roe versus Wade, which has set the precedent for abortion cases for nearly five decades.
Liberals say Barrett’s legal views are too heavily influenced by her religious beliefs and fear her ascent to the nation’s highest court could lead to a scaling back of hard-fought abortion rights. She also would replace the justice who is best-known for fighting for women’s rights and equality.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein told Barrett her views suggested religious tenets could guide her thinking on the law, the California Democrat telling Barrett: “The conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you.”
Barrett responded that her views had evolved and that she agreed judges shouldn’t “follow their personal convictions in the decision of a case, rather than what the law requires.”
While two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have said that a confirmation should not come so close to an election, enough Republican senators have said they would be supportive of Trump’s nominee to ensure a confirmation.
Trump will likely become the first president to fill three Supreme Court vacancies in a single term since President Richard Nixon’s first term from 1969 through 1973.
At just 48, Barrett would be the youngest justice and her tenure could last for decades. She’s made her mark in law primarily as an academic at the University of Notre Dame, where she began teaching at age 30. She first donned judges’ robes in 2017 after Trump nominated her to the 7th Circuit.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.