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Trump plans to pick Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ginsburg on court

President TrumpDonald TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports MORE will nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader Ginsburg, George Floyd among options for 'Remember the Titans' school's new name Bipartisan anger builds over police failure at Capitol Lindsey Graham praises Merrick Garland as 'sound choice' to serve as attorney general MORE on the Supreme Court on Saturday barring any last second change, multiple people familiar with the process confirmed to The Hill.

Two sources with knowledge of the process said that Barrett is the pick, barring any change of Trump’s mind before Saturday evening’s announcement in the White House Rose Garden. 

A Republican official said Trump began informing allies on Capitol Hill of his intention to nominate Barrett, a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Barrett is the favorite choice of conservative Christians who hope to overturn the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade establishing a woman’s right to an abortion, and has strong support from conservative GOP senators, including her home-state senator, Mike BraunMichael BraunTop Republican congressional aide resigns, rips GOP lawmakers who objected to Biden win Congress affirms Biden win after rioters terrorize Capitol Congress rejects challenge to Arizona's presidential vote MORE (R) of Indiana. 

“He’s made his decision and it’s Barrett,” said the official. 

Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews Friday evening that he has made his decision in his “own mind” but declined to confirm that Barrett was the choice. Trump will announce his choice at a White House ceremony at 5 p.m. Saturday.

“I haven’t said it was her but she is outstanding,” Trump said of Barrett.

Trump was very pleased with Barrett’s performance during a meeting at the White House on Monday, the president has told allies. It was his only known in-person meeting with judges he was considering for the vacancy. 

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Another person close to the White House said they would be “shocked” if Barrett was not the choice, saying Trump had appeared to settle on the 48-year-old judge as his pick in recent days. 

Barrett is expected to start meeting with Republicans senators on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Barrett immediately emerged as the front-runner to fill the vacancy after Ginsburg died due to complications related to pancreatic cancer at the age of 87 last Friday.

One of the sources close to the process said that a confirmation hearing for Barrett is expected in the next two weeks, with a confirmation vote occurring sometime in late October, before the Nov. 3 election.

A former clerk for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Notre Dame law professor, Barrett was nominated by Trump and confirmed in a 55-43 vote by the Senate to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in 2017. At the time, three Democratic senators supported her nomination: Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBiden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Harris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by JobsOhio - Showdown: Trump-Biden debate likely to be nasty MORE (Ind.), who subsequently lost his 2018 reelection bid, Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael Kaine'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack 7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics Robert E. Lee statue removed from US Capitol MORE (Va.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMcConnell, Schumer fail to cut power-sharing deal amid filibuster snag Josh Hawley has a new publisher — that's good news This week: Tensions running high in Trump's final days MORE (W.Va.).

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She became an instant star among conservatives following her 2017 confirmation hearing, during which Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinJustice Dept. closes insider trading case against Burr without charges Senate Democrats call on Biden to immediately invoke Defense Production Act Barrett hears climate case against her father's ex-employer Shell MORE (D-Calif.) questioned her on the role of her Catholic faith in judging.

Barrett was previously considered as a potential nominee to replace Anthony Kennedy in 2018, but Trump ultimately chose to nominate Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughHarris to resign from Senate seat on Monday Why we need Section 230 more than ever 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate MORE to fill that vacancy. 

If confirmed, Barrett will be the third Supreme Court justice to be nominated by Trump, following Justices Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchBiden to introduce Garland as attorney general, other top DOJ nominees Biden to name Merrick Garland for attorney general Supreme Court rejects Christian school's push for COVID-19 carve-out MORE and Kavanaugh, delivering a decisive 6-3 conservative majority on the High Court. 

The only other judge who appeared to be seriously considered for the opening on the high court was Barbara Lagoa, whom Trump appointed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2018. The president’s allies in Florida lobbied for Lagoa as the pick, arguing her Cuban heritage and bipartisan confirmation to the appellate bench could win over moderate voters and swing the Sunshine State his way.

But a meeting with Lagoa never materialized, and some White House allies expressed reservations about whether the judge’s record was conservative enough, particularly on the issue of abortion.