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Trump says he will announce U.S. Supreme Court nominee Friday or Saturday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Monday he is looking at four or five jurists to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court and he will announce his nominee on Friday or Saturday.

Amy Coney Barrett of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago and Barbara Lagoa of the 11th Circuit in Atlanta
Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and Judge Barbara Lagoa

Trump pushed ahead with plans for his third U.S. Supreme Court nomination, which would cement a 6-3 conservative majority, as some Republicans wavered on whether to support the move weeks before an election.

The Republican president said in an interview with Fox News that he wanted to wait out of respect for Ginsburg, a liberal justice who died on Friday at age 87. “We should wait until the services are over for Justice Ginsburg,” he said.

The death of liberal icon Ginsburg upended the campaign season, giving Trump and his party an opportunity to strengthen its grip on the court whose decisions influence most spheres of American life, from healthcare to gun rights to voting access.

Trump said a vote on his Supreme Court nominee should come before the Nov. 3 election.

“We won the election and we have the right to do so we have plenty of time, a lot of time,” Trump told Fox. “The final vote should be taken frankly before the election. We have plenty of time for that.”

In a private phone call with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Trump named Amy Coney Barrett of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago and Barbara Lagoa of the 11th Circuit in Atlanta as his possible choices, The New York Times reported.

The president vowed Saturday to nominate a candidate to the Supreme Court, which would both boost the conservative majority on the bench and outrage Democrats, who say the nomination shouldn’t happen until voters have had their say in the November presidential election.

Trump promised to nominate a woman to succeed Ginsburg, an icon renowned for landmark cases on gender equality. Both Barrett and Lagoa have strongly conservative track records, indicating either of them would take the court in a sharply different direction from Ginsburg’s values.

Viewed as an anti-abortion judge, Barrett once said “life begins at conception,” according to Politico. But she’s also questioned whether the famous Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion can be overturned, focusing on government funding for the procedure instead, according to Bloomberg Law.

“The fundamental element, that the woman has a right to choose abortion, will probably stand,” the site quoted Barrett, who is Catholic, as saying in 2013. “The controversy right now is about funding. It’s a question of whether abortions will be publicly or privately funded.”

Barrett is a former clerk to late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a connection that is said to have appealed to Trump.

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