On Saturday, September 26, President Donald Trump announced that he will be sending to the Senate the name of Amy Coney Barrett, at present a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, as his nominee to fill the US Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death last month of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The President is expected to try to push through this nomination before election day, November 3. That entails an unusually rapid deliberation process.
The circuit courts are the intermediary level of the federal system. Cases are appealed to the circuit courts from the federal district courts. The Seventh Circuit is the appeals court for all the federal districts in the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
In October 2017, Barrett was confirmed to the Seventh Circuit by a vote of 55 to 43, largely along party lines.
The Thing to Know:
Barrett’s nomination is controversial for a lot of reasons, even aside from the timing. Look for Democrats to make the argument, for example, that in a case involving the auto parts chain AutoZone she supported a “separate but equal” style arrangement in which AutoZone has since been allowed to route its Black employees to stores in predominately Black neighborhoods.