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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPolice say man dangling off Trump Tower Chicago demanding to speak with Trump Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Biden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus MORE will nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgFauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Biden owes us an answer on court-packing 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 BraunGOP lawmakers gloomy, back on defense after debate fiasco Romney calls first Trump-Biden debate 'an embarrassment' Supreme Court fight pushes Senate toward brink 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 DonnellyHarris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by JobsOhio - Showdown: Trump-Biden debate likely to be nasty Senate Democrats want to avoid Kavanaugh 2.0 MORE (Ind.), who subsequently lost his 2018 reelection bid, Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats have no case against Amy Coney Barrett — but that won't stop them Pence-Harris debate draws more than 50M viewers, up 26 percent from 2016 Five takeaways from the vice presidential debate MORE (Va.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Harris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears Tom Cotton: 'No doubt' coronavirus won't stop confirmation of SCOTUS nominee 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 FeinsteinPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Overnight Health Care: Pfizer could apply for vaccine authorization by late November | State health officials say they need .4B for vaccination effort | CDC: Blacks, Hispanics dying of COVID-19 at disproportionately high rates Major abortion rights group calls for Democrats to replace Feinstein on Judiciary Committee 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 KavanaughMajor abortion rights group calls for Democrats to replace Feinstein on Judiciary Committee Trump rebukes Collins amid difficult reelection fight Supreme Court battle turns into 2020 proxy war MORE to fill that vacancy. 

If confirmed, Barrett will be the third Supreme Court justice to be nominated by Trump, following Justices Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchJudge Barrett's hearing: Democratic senators left holding an empty sack The politics of originalism Barrett refuses to say if she would recuse herself from election-related cases 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.