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President Trump: "It will be a brilliant person. It will be a woman."
While President Trump has whittled down his Supreme Court shortlist to five, sources confirm the frontrunner is Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Amy Coney Barrett: "I am a Catholic, Sen. Durbin."
A Catholic mother of seven, with two adopted from Haiti, Barrett is considered the ideological heir of Supreme Court stalwart Antonin Scalia, himself a devout Catholic whom she used to clerk for.
She taught at Notre Dame Law School for 15 years before being nominated to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017.
Thrust into the national spotlight, her faith became front and center during judicial confirmation hearings,
Sen. Dianne Feinstein: "The dogma lives loudly within you."
The questions raising accusations of anti-Catholic bigotry.
Sen. Duck Durbin. "You say you're an orthodox Catholic. What's an orthodox Catholic?"
Barrett is in fact a devout Catholic, and a member of the group People of Praise, founded in South Bend at Notre Dame in 1971. Catholic members believe in traditional roles for men and women and adhere to Church teaching on marriage and abortion, among other things.
As a disciple of Scalia however, Barrett has indicated she'd apply the law impartially, without allowing personal beliefs to influence her.
In response to a White House questionnaire in 2017 asking whether she believes every instance of abortion is immoral, she responded, "My views on this or any other question will have no bearing on the discharge of my duties as a judge."
On the Seventh Circuitm she has yet to rule directly on abortion. But her body of past writing gives us a clue as to her thoughts on Roe v. Wade. One passage she penned in 2013 reveals that Roe is NOT beyond reversal: "Stare decisis is not a hard-and-fast rule in the Court's constitutional cases, and the Court has not been afraid to exercise its prerogative to overrule precedent."
Barrett has also been critical of Chief Justice John Roberts, largely considered a disappointment to conservatives.
In a 2017 paper, Barrett slammed Roberts for his ruling saving Obamacare, calling it an exercise in creative writing in a misguided attempt to save the healthcare law.
It signals the likelihood that if she's confirmed to the High Court, she won't wind up being another lackluster moderate, like Roberts.
While Barrett checks all the right boxes for pro-life conservatives, the question remains whether she'll say yes to the nomination if she receives it — and to the inevitably ugly and vicious confirmation battle that awaits.