Who is Amy Coney Barrett? Supreme Court frontrunners relationship with People of Praise explained

AMY Coney Barrett is pegged as the new Supreme Court frontrunner to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

President Trump is set to announce his decision today, Saturday September 26. Here's everything we know about the mother of seven.

Barrett has been one of the leading choices for the role following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a feminist icon and the second woman to ever serve on the nation's highest court.

Who is Amy Coney Barrett?

Amy Coney Barrett, 48, was born in 1972 and raised in New Orleans.

She is the eldest child of seven siblings. Her father worked as an attorney for Shell Oil Company.

She earned her undergraduate degree in English literature in 1994 at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

She then graduated from Notre Dame University Law School, and clerked for conservative icon Justice Antonin Scalia.

She taught at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana for 15 years, before being appointed to her current role as a circuit judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2017.

Ms Barrett is married to former federal prosecutor Jesse M. Barrett who currently serves as a partner at law firm SouthBank Legal in South Bend, Indiana.

The couple live in South Bend with their seven children ranging in age from eight to 19.

Two were adopted from Haiti and one child has Down Syndrome and special needs.

She is also reportedly a member of People of Praise: a small, tightly knit Christian group which was founded in 1971 in South Bend, Indiana.

Members support each other through weekly meetings, religious teaching, Scripture readings, and prayer.

Controversially, the group is said to teach that husbands are the heads of their wives and should take authority over the family.

Is she going to be the next Supreme Court justice?

With the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, questions have already been raised as to who will fill the "notorious" justice's shoes.

Trump said at a rally in North Carolina he will choose a female as his pick for the next Supreme Court justice and described Barrett as "very highly respected."

Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa are said to be among the top contenders as the next SCOTUS justice nominee.

However, the process from nomination to confirmation can be lengthy.

A president nominates a candidate to be a Supreme Court justice and that nominee then goes through a confirmation hearing with the Senate.

After the nominees' hearings, a judge is confirmed by the Senate.

Trump plans to make his official announcement of his Supreme Court pick at 5 p.m. EDT on Saturday.

What are her views?

  • Barrett is a devout Catholic. She previously said “life begins at conception,” according to a 2013 Notre Dame Magazine article.
  • She is reportedly a member of People of Praise – a small, tightly knit Christian group.
  • She is strongly anti-abortion.
  • She is as an originalist, arguing that the Constitution should be interpreted based on the original understanding of its founders, and has advocated for a strict interpretation of the text.

Barrett has been questioned on her deeply held religious beliefs and how they could impact her jurisprudence and influence her decisions on the bench.

Liberals say Barrett's legal views are too heavily influenced by her religious beliefs and fear her ascent to the nation's highest court could lead to a scaling back of hard-fought abortion rights. 

During her Senate confirmation hearing for the appeals court in 2017, Democrats pressed Barrett on whether her strong religious views would impact her potential rulings on abortion and other hot-button social issues.

Barrett responded that she takes he Catholic faith seriously, but said that she would stress that her personal church affiliation or her religious belief would not bear in the discharge of her duties as a judge.

She also said that good judges often don’t even like the outcomes of their own decisions.

In a speech last year, she said: "You are not there to decide cases as you may prefer. You are not there to decide cases as the public or as the press may want you to. You’re not there to win a popularity contest. You are there to do your duty and to follow the law wherever it may take you.”

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