UPDATE - US President Donald Trump Nominates Amy Coney Barrett To Be New Supreme Court Justice

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 27th September, 2020) US President Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to be the new Supreme Court justice, to fill a Supreme Court seat vacated after the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"Today it is my honor to nominate one of our nation's most brilliant and gifted legal minds to the Supreme Court. She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution, Judge Amy Coney Barrett," Trump said at the White House lawn on Saturday.

Amy Coney Barrett, 48, who is a circuit judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, was reportedly the only potential Supreme Court nominee who met with Trump in person.

"This is my third such nomination .... and it is a very proud moment indeed," Trump said. "You are going to be fantastic," Trump added, addressing Amy Coney Barrett who was standing beside him.

"If confirmed, Justice Barrett will make history as the first mother of school-aged children ever to serve on the US Supreme Court," the US President pointed out.

Barrett is the mother of seven children, two of them adopted.

"Her [Barrett's] qualifications are unsurpassed and her record is beyond reproach. This should be a straightforward and prompt confirmation, it should be very easy, good luck. It's gonna be very quick, I am sure it will be extremely non-controversial," Trump said at the White House on Saturday.

Immediately after Trump's announcement, US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden released a statement urging the Senate not to approve Trump's nomination.

"Today, President Trump has nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the successor to Justice Ginsburg's seat. She has a written track record of disagreeing with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision upholding the Affordable Care Act. She critiqued Chief Justice John Roberts' majority opinion upholding the law in 2012. The American people know the U.S. Supreme Court decisions affect their everyday lives. ... The Senate should not act on this vacancy until after the American people select their next president and the next Congress," Biden said.

Trump said at the White House that Barrett deserved a hearing.

"I further urge all members of the other side of the isle to provide Judge Barrett with a respectful and dignified hearing that she deserves and frankly that our country deserves. I urge lawmakers and members of the media to refrain from personal or partisan attacks, the stakes for our country are incredibly high," the US President said.

Trump stressed that the rulings of the Supreme Court will determine the future of the Second Amendment, religious liberty and public safety in the US.

Earlier this month, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87, died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer at her home in Washington. Before her passing, the US Supreme Court was already stacked with a 5-4 conservative majority.

The Democrats have been highly critical of Trump's intention to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat just weeks before the presidential election.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier this month that the Senate would vote on Trump's pick to replace Ginsburg regardless of criticism by the Democrats. The Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate.

According to US media reports, the Senate Judiciary Committee will start confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett on October 12.

"It's going to go fast. We're looking to do it before the election. So it's going to go very fast," Trump told reporters at the White House on Saturday, as quoted by The Globe and Mail newspaper. Trump said the confirmation hearings will likely start on October 12, but the date for the first hearing is ultimately up to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham.