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Conservative women top Trump’s potential court picks

By: Reuters Editorial | 21 September 2020

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[NFA] One is known for her conservative religious views, the other is a Cuban-American and the first Hispanic woman to serve on Florida’s top court. A look at Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa – the conservative judges Trump is considering to replace the late justice and feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court. Lisa Bernhard produced this report.

One is known for her conservative religious views, the other is a Cuban-American and the first Hispanic woman to serve on Florida’s top court.

And they are two of President Trump’s potential nominees for a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice and feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday.

A devout Roman Catholic and mother of seven, Amy Coney Barrett is a favorite among religious conservatives.

She was a clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia and eventually a professor at Notre Dame university.

But she is an alarming choice for liberals who fear she could help overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

During her 2017 confirmation hearing for her current post as a federal appeals court judge in Chicago, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein called her a “controversial” choice, adding:

“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you. And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.”

Barrett was asked several times during the hearing about Roe v. Wade’s nearly 50-year precedent, and consistently replied that as an appeals court judge….

“I would faithfully apply all Supreme Court precedent.”

She has also voted in favor of one of Trump’s hardline immigration policies and shown support for expansive gun rights.

Conservative Barbara Lagoa, the Cuban-American federal appellate judge also under consideration by Trump, was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court last year by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, a close ally of Trump’s.

She took part in a major ruling reversing a judge’s decision striking down a Florida law that requires that people with past serious criminal convictions pay fines and legal fees before regaining the right to vote. Critics have compared the Republican-backed law to poll taxes imposed in the past in some states to keep Black people from voting.

A victory in Florida is seen as crucial for Trump’s Nov. 3 re-election chances. Choosing a Hispanic judge from the state potentially could give him a boost among Florida’s voters.

Barrett, who’s 48 and Lagoa, who’s 52, would each likely spend decades on the court if appointed and would cement a 6-3 conservative majority.

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