President Donald Trump on Monday met with Judge Amy Coney Barrett as he continues to narrow down the list of potential nominees to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s vacant Supreme Court seat. According to a person familiar with the selection process, and as reported by The Hill, the meeting took place at the White House just ahead of the president’s campaign rally in Ohio. Although details of the discussion that occurred between Trump and Barrett remain unknown, it seemed to solidify Barrett as a front-runner to replace Ginsburg, who died Friday at the age of 87 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
A former clerk for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Barrett had been Trump's pick for a seat on the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals and had also been considered for the 2018 Supreme Court vacancy, which was ultimately handed to Brett Kavanaugh. CNN previously reported that Barrett's advocates were reportedly told by White House officials that she remained in the running for another vacancy, and she had been among Trump's updated list of potential Supreme Court nominees released in 2017, which was expanded earlier this month. In 2019, Axios reported that Trump told aides he was "saving" Barrett as a potential replacement for Ginsburg.
Barrett, however, is just one name on a list of four or five people being considered for the nomination. Trump has told reporters that he wishes for the nominee to be a woman. Along with Barrett, sources claim that Barbara Lagoa is also being seriously considered for the nomination. Trump himself has lauded praise on Lagoa, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, stating that she "is highly thought of." He said that he has been "getting a lot of phone calls from a lot of people" voicing their support for Lagoa's nomination. He also stated that he "may" meet with Lagoa later this week when he is in Florida, confirming that "she's one of the people we are looking at."
Trump is expected to reveal his nominee either Friday or Saturday of this week as he and Republicans work to fast-track a Supreme Court confirmation ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already promised to take up a vote on Trump's nominee in the Senate, and Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham revealed Monday, according to the Associated Press, that Republicans have "the votes to confirm the justice on the floor of the Senate before the election and that’s what's coming."