Amy Coney Barrett Seen Leading Short List for Trump Court Pick

Amy Coney Barrett, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit judge, speaks during the University of Notre Dame's Law School commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. (Robert Franklin/University of Notre Dame via AP)

Appeals court judge Amy Coney Barrett is the early favorite to become President Donald Trump’s next Supreme Court nominee, but two other judges, Barbara Lagoa and Amul Thapar, are also drawing interest, according to people familiar with the process.

The White House is preparing to press forward with a hotly contested nomination battle to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Trump is weighing his options with a view to November’s vote: considering candidates whose backgrounds and judicial credentials he thinks will bolster his chances of re-election.

On Saturday, people familiar with the rapidly-evolving process said that Lagoa’s stock was rising quickly in the White House. Thapar, a who now hails from Kentucky, rounds out the shortlist. The three have something in common: they’re young, with the prospect of serving on the top U.S. court for decades.

All three judges appeared on a list of potential high-court nominees that Trump updated earlier this month, and Barrett and Thapar were among the nominees whom Trump considered before selecting Brett Kavanaugh for the court in 2018.

During a phone call on Friday night with Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t express a preference for any candidate, and said he could deliver a floor vote, people briefed on the conversation said. full story

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