Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

By Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT) September 26, 2020
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4:25 p.m. ET, September 26, 2020

Trump will announce his SCOTUS pick soon. Here's what happens after that.

White House staff prepare the Rose Garden ahead of President Trump's scheduled Supreme Court nomination announcement on Saturday.
White House staff prepare the Rose Garden ahead of President Trump's scheduled Supreme Court nomination announcement on Saturday. Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump will soon announce his nominee to the US Supreme Court. He intends to choose Amy Coney Barrett, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the process.

Some Republican senators have signaled they will quickly move to take up the nomination following the announcement. This sets the stage for the possibility of a final confirmation vote before Election Day.

Two Republican senators — Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins — have said they do not support voting on the nomination of a Supreme Court justice ahead of the election.

But now that Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney has signaled that he is on board with moving ahead with a vote, Barrett's likely to be confirmed barring any potential missteps.

According to a likely schedule being circulated around the Senate, the hearing to confirm Trump's pick could begin on Oct. 12.

3:23 p.m. ET, September 26, 2020

What you need to know about Trump's expected Supreme Court nominee

President Trump will announce his Supreme Court justice nominee at 5 p.m. ET today. He intends to choose Amy Coney Barrett, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the process.

If you're just reading in, here's what we know about Barrett:

  • She's worked as a judge and as a professor: Barrett was confirmed in 2017 for her current judgeship on the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, Born in New Orleans in 1972 and a 1997 Notre Dame law graduate, Barrett worked in private practice and then became a law professor, settling at Notre Dame in 2002.
  • She's a proven conservative: Barrett, who once served as a former law clerk to the late right-wing beacon Justice Antonin Scalia, will certainly tilt the high court further rightward for years to come. She has demonstrated her conservative bona fides on Second Amendment gun rights, immigration and abortion. You can read more about her writings here.
  • She's previously been considered for a SCOTUS spot: Barrett, now 48, was a finalist for the Supreme Court spot that went to Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
2:32 p.m. ET, September 26, 2020

The Rose Garden is being decorated like it was on the day Clinton announced Ginsburg's nomination

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

President Bill Clinton announces Ruth Bader Ginsburg's nomination to the Supreme Court on June 14, 1993.
President Bill Clinton announces Ruth Bader Ginsburg's nomination to the Supreme Court on June 14, 1993. Ron Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

For the Supreme Court announcement today, the Rose Garden is being transformed to look similar to June 14, 1993 — the day then-President Bill Clinton announced Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s nomination to the high court.

It is a very distinctive look, with large flags hanging down from the Colonnade, one after another, between the columns.

A White House aide who is involved in making the preparations today sent a photo to CNN showing the flags. It is designed to replicate the look of Ginsburg’s announcement. 

President Trump and his advisers specifically asked for the Rose Garden to be adorned in hanging flags after they recently saw the Clinton-Ginsburg announcement replaying on television.

It’s a subtle — but noticeable — replication of that look, a White House aide says.

2:26 p.m. ET, September 26, 2020

This is the SCOTUS confirmation schedule being circulated around the Senate

From CNN’s Phil Mattingly & Ariane De Vogue

The likely confirmation hearing schedule in the Senate Judiciary Committee for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s expected pick for the Supreme Court vacancy, is being circulated to members of the Senate, according to three people familiar with the process.  

The schedule would be as follows: 

  • The hearing would begin Oct. 12 with opening statements
  • Oct. 13 would be the first round of questioning
  • Oct. 14 would be the second round of the questioning
  • Finally, there would be closed session on Oct. 15 with outside witnesses

Remember: This schedule is subject to change if something unexpected comes up in the next few weeks, but Republicans are pretty locked in on this timeline. It would tee up a Senate floor vote shortly before Election Day.

2:01 p.m. ET, September 26, 2020

Trump's expected Supreme Court pick seen leaving her Indiana home

From CNN’s Annie Grayer

 

Judge Amy Coney Barrett and her family are seen leaving their South Bend, Indiana home on Saturday, September 26.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett and her family are seen leaving their South Bend, Indiana home on Saturday, September 26. CNN

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who sources say Trump intends to nominate to the Supreme Court, and her family were seen leaving their South Bend, Indiana, this afternoon.

Barrett, her husband and her children were seen in fancy attire. Prior to Barrett herself walking out, her children loaded suitcases into the car. Barrett drove one car and her husband drove another car, splitting the kids between the two of them.

She did not answer questions about where she was heading or if the President had called her to offer her the Supreme Court nomination.

You can read some of Barrett's most notable dissents here.

CORRECTION: This post has been updated to correct the city in which Barrett resides.

1:35 p.m. ET, September 26, 2020

Activists paint "We Call BS" outside Mitch McConnell's house

From CNN's Rachel Janfaza

 

Courtesy Gregory Berg
Courtesy Gregory Berg

Ahead of Trump’s scheduled Supreme Court nomination announcement, March For Our Lives organizers teamed up with Demand Justice, a progressive organization focused on balancing the courts, and artist Nadine Bloch to paint “We Call BS” outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s house Saturday. 

March For Our Lives — the gun violence prevention organization founded in the wake of the Parkland school shooting in 2018 — advocates for gun violence prevention laws. Organizers say they believe that Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who sources say Trump intends to nominate, would be detrimental to the goals of their movement. 

In recent months, March For Our Lives has taken up a number of other social causes including voting rights, police violence and other intersectional issues, organizers say. 

Some background: The phrase “We Call BS” has been coined by March For Our Lives as a way to show frustration and has been used by young activists who demand change from elected officials.

“MFOL really began with Emma‘s speech in 2018 where she famously said ‘we call BS’ on the gun lobby and politicians who fail to act and protect our lives and that we demand that the people in power, the adults actually do something to protect us the children who are affected by gun violence,” David Hogg, the co-founder of March For Our Lives, told CNN. 

About a dozen organizers joined in to paint the mural on Saturday, according to those present. 

Why McConnell's house: Organizers are specifically targeting McConnell for his role in pushing forward a Supreme Court justice nomination process, as well as his commitment to the gun lobby, they said. 

“We are doing this in front of Mitch McConnell‘s house right now because we believe that the American people should be able to make their voice heard in determining who is the next supreme court justice is after the election,” Hogg said.  

“We’re outside of Mitch McConnell‘s house because he has the power to listen to the will of American people and fulfill RBG’s dying wish, just as he has had the power to bring bi-partisan house-passed common sense legislation to a vote. Unfortunately he has proven time and time again that he is beholden to the gun lobby and special interests over the desires of his constituents in KY and the American people,” Eve Levenson, the 20-year-old policy and government affair manager for March For Our Lives said.

March For Our Lives organizers told CNN they in part disagree with pushing forward on a Supreme Court nomination process because American voters have already started to cast their ballot in the 2020 election. 

“We demand that Mitch McConnell let the people decide who will nominate the next supreme court justice. If all goes as he wants it to, over 40% of the country will have voted when the decision is made. that’s not democracy. We call BS,” Maxwell Frost, the 23-year-old national organizing director for March For Our Lives said.

1:11 p.m. ET, September 26, 2020

Republicans have hinted at a quick SCOTUS confirmation process. Here's the possible timeline.

From CNN's Clare Foran

President Donald Trump is set to announce a Supreme Court nominee to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg this evening, formally kicking off a contentious and high-stakes battle over the fate of the court that will play out in a bitterly-divided Senate.

Senate Republicans, who have the majority in the upper chamber, have signaled plans to quickly move to take up the nomination, setting the stage for the possibility of a final confirmation vote before Election Day.

Here's how that could happen:

  • The hearing: Multiple sources familiar have told CNN that both the White House and Graham are targeting the week of Oct. 12 for the nominee's confirmation hearing.
  • The vote: That would allow for a confirmation vote by Oct. 29, hitting a pre-election timeline that the White House and congressional Republicans are increasingly coalescing behind. 
  • The election: Election Day is Nov. 3.

A confirmation vote by October 29 — if it were to happen — would mean only around 33 days between the announcement of a nominee and the vote to confirm. 

12:21 p.m. ET, September 26, 2020

The Pences will attend Trump's SCOTUS announcement today

From CNN’s Sam Fossum

Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence attend the Republican National Convention on August 26 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence attend the Republican National Convention on August 26 in Baltimore, Maryland. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence will be at the Rose Garden for President Trump's formal unveiling of his Supreme Court pick at 5:00 p.m. ET, according to the Vice President's daily guidance. 

Pence has no other events on his schedule today. 

12:46 p.m. ET, September 26, 2020

Guests headed to the White House for the SCOTUS event say there's been no mention of coronavirus tests

From CNN's Kate Bennett

Two guests invited to attend Trump's Supreme Court nominee announcement in the Rose Garden event today – Notre Dame colleagues of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who sources have told CNN the President is intending on nominating – said there was no mention of being tested for Covid-19.

The guests told CNN none of the logistical emails they received from the White House mentioned possible testing.They were told to arrive at the White House at 4 p.m. ET, and they received the invitations to attend the event early Friday.

Barrett has been on the faculty of Notre Dame’s law school since 2002.

There are approximately ten Notre Dame Law faculty going to the Rose Garden event, one of the attendees told CNN.

White House spokesperson Judd Deere told CNN that anyone in close proximity to the President will be tested, and that there will be social distancing measures at today's event.