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President Donald Trump has announced today conservative appellate judge Amy Coney Barrett will be his third US Supreme Court appointment. Ms Barrett appeared at the White House with Mr Trump as he made the announcement.
If confirmed to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died at age 87 on September 18, Ms Barrett would become the fifth woman ever to serve on the top US judicial body.
She would also push its conservative majority to a commanding 6-3.
With Mr Trump’s fellow Republicans controlling the Senate, confirmation appears certain, though Democrats may try to make the process as difficult as possible.
Ms Barrett, 48, was appointed by Trump to the Chicago-based 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017 and is a favourite of religious conservatives.
Who is Amy Coney Barrett?
Announcing the nomination, Mr Trump called Ms Barrett “one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds.”
Ms Barrett has staked out conservative legal positions in three years on the bench, voting in favour of one of Mr Trump’s hardline immigration policies and showing support for expansive gun rights.
She also authored a ruling making it easier for college students accused of campus sexual assaults to sue their institutions.
She and her lawyer husband have seven children, two of whom were adopted from Haiti.
Born in New Orleans, Ms Barrett received her law degree from Notre Dame Law School, a Catholic institution in Indiana.
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