Three women appeals court judges, all conservatives recently appointed to the bench, are among President Trump’s leading candidates to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to people familiar with the selection process.
Trump over the weekend said he would tap a woman to replace Ginsburg, a liberal lion, whose death Friday threw the final weeks of a divisive presidential campaign into further turmoil as the president and the Republican Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, pledged to fill the seat as soon as possible.
The three likely finalists have impressive legal credentials and compelling personal stories and are also certain to pull the high court to the right, perhaps for years, as the justices tackle some of society’s most contentious issues, including abortion rights, healthcare reform and racial inequality, legal experts said.
Two leading contenders for the nomination, officials said, are Amy Coney Barrett — a 48-year-old former professor at Notre Dame Law School and a darling of the conservative legal establishment, who now serves on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals — and Barbara Lagoa, 52, a former federal prosecutor who was the first Cuban American to serve on the state Supreme Court in Florida and now sits on the 11th Circuit. Also in the mix is Joan Larsen, a 51-year-old former state judge in the battleground state of Michigan, now on the 6th Circuit.
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