On Saturday, September 26, 2020, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s position on the Supreme Court. Ginsberg died on Friday, September 18.
President Trump is pushing to have the seat filled before the November presidential election, which would be a record-setting pace for a nomination. In spite of Barrett’s recent consideration by the Senate, her confirmation process is sure to be contentious and difficult.
Amy Coney Barrett
Amy Coney Barrett was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, but moved to Indiana to attend the University of Notre Dame School of Law. She served for a time as a clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia, took a short turn as a practicing attorney, and was a professor for about 17 years.
In 2017, she was appointed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, serving in South Bend, Indiana. She lives there with her husband, Jesse, and their seven children.
Steering her nomination through the Senate Judiciary Committee will be Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina. He has served as the Chair of the Judiciary Committee since 2019. In 2016, he ran for president, but quickly dropped out when it became clear he had no path to the nomination.
He owns a town home in Washington, DC, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. In the past, he rented out part of the home, but has not done so recently.
He also owns a 2,000 square foot in Seneca, South Carolina, which was valued around $215,000 in 2016.
Overseeing the entire process is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Republican senator from Kentucky is a keen politician, and if anyone can get Barrett approved in just a few weeks, McConnell can. Like many senators, he owns property both in Washington, DC and in his home state of Kentucky.
His DC townhouse is estimated to be worth around $2 million, and has about 3,000 square feet of living space.
His Louisville home is estimated to be worth around $750,000, and has three bedrooms and two and a half baths spread out among 2,700 square feet. While owning two nice homes might be a stretch on a senator’s $175,000 salary, McConnell can afford this because his wife, Elaine Chao, has about $25 million inherited from her mother.
Heading up the opposition to Barrett will be Senator Diane Feinstein of California. She has been a senator since 1992, and is currently the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The 87 year old Democrat is one of the longest-serving senators, and will work very hard to oppose Barrett’s nomination. She did so during Barrett’s hearings in 2017 to the Appeals Court.
She and her husband Richard Blum live in one of the most famous and most desirable areas of San Francisco, right at the top of the Lyon Street Steps. They paid $16.5 million in 2006 for the gorgeous home with perfect views of the bay.
Dirksen and Hart Senate Office Buildings
The hearings will be held in the Dirksen and Hart Senate Office Buildings. Much of the preparation will occur within the Judiciary Committee staff quarters in the Dirksen Building.
Because the Judiciary Committee hearing rooms in the Dirksen Building is smaller, the hearings will be held in the Hart Building, right next to and connected to the Dirksen Building. It will be a big media spectacle, and there will be many people vying for a spot to witness the momentous hearings.
Overseeing the entire process will be President Donald Trump, who has a lot riding on the outcome of the nomination. He made the announcement of Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination at the White House in the evening of Saturday, September 26, 2020.
Depending on how the process plays out, Trump may see a boost or a decided decline in support. This may impact how long he continues to live in the White House, just a few miles from the US Capitol Building.
US Supreme Court Building
Once the entire process is over, if Amy Coney Barrett is approved by the Senate, she will be sworn in in a public ceremony at the White House or Capitol. Then she will be sworn in during a private ceremony at the Supreme Court. Finally, she will be formally publically introduced at the Supreme Court as the newest associate justice.
No matter the outcome of this unprecedented process, it will be memorable and historic, and have lasting implications on the Supreme Court, the Senate, and politics in the United States.