Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

By Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT) September 26, 2020
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11:57 a.m. ET, September 26, 2020

Senate Judiciary Democrat says he'll meet with Trump's SCOTUS pick

From CNN's Ali Main


Sen. Dick Durbin, the Democratic whip and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told CNN's Michael Smerconish that he plans to meet with and attend the confirmation hearing for President Trump's Supreme Court pick.

Several Democrats told CNN this week they won’t bother meeting with the nominee now over their concerns with the expedited process in the Senate. 

Durbin told Smerconish, "I can only speak for myself," and noted that he's spoken to every past nominee to the high court because he thinks it is "not only respectful, but it's important."

"I plan on establishing some sort of contact, safe contact for both the nominee, myself and my staff in a courtesy manner," Durbin said, adding that he also plans on attending the nominee's hearing.

CNN reported on Friday that President Trump intends to nominate Amy Coney Barrett, according to multiple senior Republican sources with knowledge of the process.

Durbin would not definitively weigh in on Barrett's qualifications, but he did express interest in learning more about the judge's views on the Affordable Care Act, as the court will hear oral arguments for the Obama-era healthcare law on Nov. 10, and the President's recent refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election.

11:45 a.m. ET, September 26, 2020

Trump's expected Supreme Court nominee is set to start making courtesy calls on Tuesday

From CNN's Manu Raju


Judge Amy Coney Barrett
Judge Amy Coney Barrett Rachel Malehorn via AP

If Judge Amy Coney Barrett is nominated today for the Supreme Court vacancy — as sources have told CNN the President is intending — she is expected to be on Capitol Hill Tuesday to begin courtesy calls, per GOP sources.

She'll also meet with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell then, sources said.

More on a possible timeline: Senate Republicans, who have the majority in the upper chamber, have signaled plans to quickly move to take up the nomination in the midst of an election season where control of the White House and Congress are on the line, setting the stage for the possibility of a final confirmationvote before Election Day on Nov. 3.

That timeline would leave no room for error and only a little more than a month for the Senate to complete the confirmation process. 

11:12 a.m. ET, September 26, 2020

This is the last weekend before Trump and Biden face off in the first presidential debate

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

The presidential debates are around the corner, with Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President  Trump set to square off for the first time on stage next Tuesday.

All debates are scheduled to take place from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET on their respective dates without commercial breaks.

Here's what we know about the first debate:

  • Moderator: Fox News' Chris Wallace
  • Location: Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Key topics: Wallace selected the following topics for the first debate: "The Trump and Biden Records," "The Supreme Court," "Covid-19," "The Economy," "Race and Violence in our Cities" and "The Integrity of the Election"
  • Format: Each segment will last about 15 minutes, and the candidates will have two minutes to respond after the moderator opens each segment with a question. Wallace will then use the rest of the time in the segment to facilitate further discussion on the topic, according to the commission.
11:03 a.m. ET, September 26, 2020

Trump will announce his SCOTUS nominee today. Sources say he intends to select this judge.

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins, Kevin Liptak, Ariane de Vogue and Pamela Brown

President Trump intends to choose Amy Coney Barrett to be the new Supreme Court justice, according to multiple senior Republican sources with knowledge of the process.

In conversations with some senior Republican allies on the Hill, the White House is indicating that Barrett is the intended nominee, multiple sources said.

All sources cautioned that until it is announced by the President, there is always the possibility that Trump makes a last-minute change but the expectation is Barrett is the choice. He is scheduled to make the announcement on Saturday afternoon.

Barrett has been the leading choice throughout the week, since Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. She is the only potential nominee known to have met with the President in person, according to two of the sources. One source said Trump was familiar with Barrett already and he met with her since she was a top contender the last time there was a Supreme Court vacancy, when the President chose Justice Brett Kavanaugh instead.

Barrett was seen at her South Bend, Indiana, home on Friday. It was not clear if Barrett had been told she is the choice. Often that is done as late as possible to maintain secrecy around the announcement.

"The machinery is in motion," one of the sources said. In previous nomination announcements, the White House had multiple rollouts planned in case the President made a last-minute decision to switch to another candidate. But one source said it would be surprising if there were a change since allies are already being told.

The White House declined to comment.

"She was the plan all along. She's the most distinguished and qualified by traditional measures. She has the strongest support among the legal conservatives who have dedicated their lives to the court. She will contribute most to the court's jurisprudence in the years and decades to come," according to a former senior administration official familiar with the process.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear in conversations with Trump and White House counsel Pat Cipollone that the Senate GOP conference would be comfortable with Barrett, two people with knowledge of the conversations told CNN earlier this week. Sen. Todd Young, who hails from Barrett's home state of Indiana and leads the Senate Republican campaign arm, has also been an advocate, the people said.

The President indicated he has spoken to multiple candidates, but the White House has not been willing to say if other conversations were in person.

Barrett was at the White House on Monday and Tuesday of this week. She impressed the President and others during the initial meetings, two sources told CNN earlier this week.