What are the steps to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court?


WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Donald Trump has named Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Barrett, Trump’s third nominee to the high court and a former clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, will now face a series of informal and formal meetings with the Republican-controlled Senate, which has the power to install her in the lifetime role.

Trump has said that he wants Barrett confirmed before Election Day on Nov. 3.

Following the announcement at a White House Rose Garden ceremony Saturday, Trump said he thinks “this will be done before the election, saying that would “send a great signal to a lot of people.”

With little time for the Senate to fulfill its role and confirm the new justice, here is a breakdown of what’s to come:


Barrett as early as Tuesday is expected to begin informal meetings with senators on Capitol Hill, starting with Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.


The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, is charged with investigating the background and qualifications of any nominee.

Barrett will answer a questionnaire about her background, professional career and finances. That is followed by a public hearing and finally a vote by the committee to send the nomination to the full Senate.

Graham said he hopes his committee with approve Barrett’s nomination by the week of Oct. 26, setting up a final confirmation vote on the Senate floor one week before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Graham said on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine”: “Hopefully we’ll come to the floor around the 26th, and that will be up to (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell.”


The Federal Bureau of Investigation will complete its own investigation and share its findings with the Judiciary Committee. The American Bar Association, a national nonpartisan lawyers’ group, will also evaluate Barrett and deliver a rating on whether she is qualified to sit on the high court.


The Judiciary Committee’s public hearings, which last several days, are a highly anticipated event for every Supreme Court nominee, during which the public gets to hear the candidate in her own words answer questions from senators, typically related to judicial philosophy and often the nominee’s opinions on hot-button social issues like abortion.

The hearings are due to start Oct. 12, multiple U.S. media outlets reported, citing Republican Senate sources.

Recent nominees have typically kept those views close to their chests. Senators often follow up the testimony with further questions posed to the nominee in writing.


Since Senate Republicans in 2017 eliminated for Supreme Court nominations a procedural tactic often used by the minority party to hold up a vote, called the filibuster, a simple majority of the 100 members must vote to confirm. That appears likely given Republicans have a 53-47 majority and only two Republican senators have publicly opposed Trump’s bid to fill the seat.

Historically, the average number of days from nomination to final Senate vote is around 70, according to the Congressional Research Service. The time from Ginsburg’s nomination to confirmation, however, was just 42 days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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