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Trump nominates conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett for US Supreme Court

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-09-27 05:22

US President Donald Trump holds an event to announce his nominee of US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the Supreme Court seat at the White House in Washington, US, Sept 26, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he is nominating Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative federal appellate judge, for the Supreme Court.

"She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials, and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution," Trump said of Barrett from the White House Rose Garden.

"This should be a straightforward and prompt confirmation," said the president, while calling for a "respectful and dignified" process for the Supreme Court nominee.

Barrett, who sits on the bench of Chicago-based US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, said that she has "no illusions that the road ahead of me will be easy, either for the short term or the long haul."

"If confirmed, I would not assume that role for the sake of those in my own circle, and certainly not for my own sake, I would assume this role to serve you," she added.

Trump selected Barrett to fill the seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a leading liberal voice on the country's highest court.

Barrett, if confirmed by the Senate for the Supreme Court, would give the conservative wing a solid 6-3 majority. At age 48, she would also be the youngest member of the nine-justice bench and likely serve for decades to come.

Republicans, who enjoy a 53-47 advantage in the Senate, appear to have enough votes to approve Trump's third Supreme Court pick and they intend to hold a confirmation vote before the November election with an eye to energizing the conservative base. Only two Republican senators have said they would not support taking up a nominee prior to Election Day.

Democrats oppose moving forward with a vote on Ginsburg's replacement so close to the election, citing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's decision in 2016 to block then-US President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee because it was an election year, which all but ensures a fierce confirmation battle on Capitol Hill in the coming weeks.

McConnell and Senate Republicans have argued that this time is different because the Senate and the White House are held by the same party.

In a statement on Saturday, McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said that he looks forward to meeting with Barrett next week, adding that the nomination will receive a vote on the Senate floor in the weeks ahead.

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