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Sources: Trump Considers Barrett, Lagoa, Rushing For Supreme Court Spot

The flag flies at half-staff Saturday at the Supreme Court on the morning after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
J. Scott Applewhite
The flag flies at half-staff Saturday at the Supreme Court on the morning after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Updated at 7:28 p.m. ET

Judges Amy Coney Barrett, Barbara Lagoa and Allison Jones Rushing are emerging as serious contenders to fill the seat on the Supreme Court vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to sources familiar with the process.

An announcement on the nominee could come as early as Monday or Tuesday.

Barrett is the front-runner, according to the sources. A former high-ranking White House lawyer told NPR's Tamara Keith that "Barrett remains very highly regarded. She would be a brilliant and compassionate justice. Her intellect and thought leadership are well-established. It is telling in these violent chaotic times that opposition to her is based primarily on her Catholic faith."

Barrett sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and was a finalist for Trump's second high court nomination, which ultimately went to Brett Kavanaugh.

Lagoa, a Florida native, sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Trump spoke highly of her Saturday evening and Republicans have hopes she could energize Latino voters. One source said D.C.'s legal establishment has questions about her reliability as a conservative voice on the bench.

Rushing sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. She's a favorite of evangelical groups, an important part of the Trump base. Born in 1982, she would be in position to serve for decades.

Amul Thapar of Kentucky, from the 6th Circuit, also is under consideration. He's championed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Sources in the executive branch told NPR's Carrie Johnson that Kate Todd, deputy assistant to the president and deputy counsel to the president, is also in the running.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: September 18, 2020 at 11:00 PM CDT
A previous version of this story and a previous headline incorrectly identified Allison Jones Rushing as Alison Rushing Jones.
Carrie Johnson is a justice correspondent for the Washington Desk.
Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.
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