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The Latest: Graham: Court vote could be week before election

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court (all times local): 9:50 p.m. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham says he hopes his committee will approve Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court by the week of Oct. 26, setting up a final confirmation vote on the Senate floor one week before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Trump nominated Barrett on Saturday to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Graham said after Trump’s announcement that his committee will hold four days of confirmation hearings the week of Oct. 12, and it would likely take another week to approve the nomination, under committee rules.

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." Graham said Barrett had called him and the top Democrat on the committee, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Graham said he and Barrett had a “pleasant conversation,” and he congratulated her.

Graham says, “She’s just a complete superstar when it comes to the law, and elections do have consequences.”

8:30 p.m.

Chants of “fill that seat” erupted as President Donald Trump opened his first campaign rally after nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Trump told several thousand supporters at the event at an airport hangar in Middletown, Pennsylvania, that the federal appeals court judge is a “brilliant legal mind.”

He also turned the celebration of Barrett -- his third Supreme Court nominee -- into a jab at Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Trump told the packed and largely mask-free crowd that one of Barrett’s professors had praised her as the best student he’d ever had, then added: “That’s a little better than Biden, wouldn’t you say?”

The president chose the conservative Barrett to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who led the court’s liberal wing until her death on Sept. 18.

7:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he thinks Judge Amy Coney Barrett will be confirmed to the Supreme Court before Election Day on Nov. 3.

Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a rally in Pennsylvania Saturday evening that “it’s going to go fast” and argued it would be difficult for Democrats to take issue with his pick as he praised her credentials.

He says, “I think this will be done before the election,” and said that would “send a great signal to a lot of people.”

Trump’s comments came not long after a Rose Garden ceremony to formally announced his pick to fill the seat left vacant when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died of cancer last week

Trump also said that he had not discussed the issue of abortion rights with Barrett, claiming that would not be “appropriate to discuss.”

But he said on the topic that, “They’re going to have to make a decision and that’s going to be for the judges do .”

7:20 p.m.

Sen. Kamala Harris says she’ll oppose Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Harris is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee tasked with vetting the nominee and the Democratic vice presidential candidate.

“It would be travesty to replace (Ginsburg) with a justice who is being selected to undo her legacy and erase everything she did for our country,” Harris said in a statement through her Senate office.

Harris and Joe Biden have focused on what a shift in the court’s ideological makeup would mean for the Affordable Care Act. The high court is set to hear a case aimed at striking down the law shortly after the election. Harris said she opposes Barrett because of both Republican efforts to overturn the health law and to role back abortion rights.

6:30 p.m.

No Democratic senators are expected to vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court ahead of the Nov. 3 election, even though some did support her in 2017 for the federal appeals court.

Two Democrats still serving in the Senate who voted to confirm Barrett in 2017, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, now say it’s too close to the election to consider her nomination. Republicans control the Senate 53-47, so Barrett could still be confirmed without Democratic support.

Kaine said voting is already underway in his and other states. “Rushing a confirmation vote before the American people have weighed in would be reckless,” he said in a statement.

Said Manchin, “I cannot support a process that risks further division of the American people at a time when we desperately need to come together.” He said he would not vote to support Barrett or any nominee before Nov. 3.

In 2016, Republicans said it was too close to the election to confirm President Barack Obama's pick to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Scalia died 237 days before the election. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom Barrett would be replacing, died 46 days before the election.

6:20 p.m.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is responding to Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court by calling for the Senate not to act until after the presidential election.

But in a lengthy written statement Saturday, Biden’s only explicit criticism of President Donald Trump’s nominee turned on health care.

Biden framed Trump’s choice as another move in Republicans’ effort to scrap the 2010 health care law passed by his old boss, President Barack Obama.

“She has a written track record of disagreeing with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act,” Biden said in a written statement. “She critiqued Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion upholding the law in 2012.”

6:15 p.m.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are warning that a vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is a vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act.

Schumer said Saturday that President Donald Trump is once again putting “Americans’ healthcare in the crosshairs” even while the coronavirus pandemic rages.

Pelosi said all the protections offered with the Affordable Care Act, including its ban on insurers denying coverage to those with preexisting conditions and the ability for young adults to remain on parents’ plans, “will be gone.”

The Supreme Court is expected to take up the Trump-backed case challenging the health care law in November.

The Democratic leaders warn that with Barrett, the court will almost surely tip rightward and could strike down the law.

6:10 p.m.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, the week of Oct. 12. That’s according to three people familiar with the schedule.

The panel plans to start the hearing with opening statements on Monday, Oct. 12, and continue with two days of questioning. The hearings are scheduled to end on Thursday, Oct. 15 with statements from outside groups.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the schedule before it is officially announced.

The hearings will come less than a month from the Nov. 3 presidential election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not yet said whether the Senate will vote to confirm Barrett before the election, but Republicans are privately aiming for a late October confirmation vote.

Barrett would replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18.

— AP writer Mary Clare Jalonick

6 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s pick to the U.S. Supreme Court says she is “mindful” she would be taking the seat vacated by the death of departed liberal icon, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Speaking moments after President Donald Trumped nominated her to the high court during a Rose Garden news conference Saturday, Amy Coney Barrett promptly mentioned Ginsburg and said she was “mindful of who came before” her.

Barrett is a polar opposite of Ginsburg when it comes to judicial philosophy. Barret hailed conservative icon, former Justice Antonin Scalia, as her mentor.

But she called Ginsburg a justice of “enormous talent and consequence.” And she praised Ginsburg as a trailblazer for women’s rights, saying she “not only broke glass ceilings, she smashed them.

She also lauded Ginsburg for being able to disagree with colleagues on principles but “without rancor.”

5:45 p.m.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett says her judicial philosophy is the same as that of her mentor, Justice Antonin Scalia.

Barrett was a clerk for Scalia, who died in 2016.

Barrett said Saturday as President Donald Trump nominated her to the country's highest court that Scalia’s “judicial philosophy is mine, too.”

“Judges must apply the law as written. Judges are not policy makers,” she said.

Scalia was a proponent of originalism, the method of constitutional interpretation that looks to the meaning of words and concepts as they were understood by the Founding Fathers.

5:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump has called Amy Coney Barrett a “woman of unparalleled achievement” as he announces her nomination to the Supreme Court.

Trump said Saturday that she is one of the nation’s “brilliant and gifted legal minds.” And he called her “very eminently qualified for the job.”

Barrett is his third nomination to the high court after Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Barrett would replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died earlier this month. Trump called Ginsburg a “legal giant and a pioneer for women."

Barrett, a judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and a devout Roman Catholic, has been hailed by religious conservatives and others on the right as an ideological heir to conservative icon Antonin Scalia, the late Supreme Court justice for whom she clerked.

But liberals say her 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.

5:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump says Amy Coney Barrett would be the first mother of school-age children to serve on the Supreme Court.

The president introduced Barrett in the White House Rose Garden on Saturday as his nominee to take the place of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last week.

Barrett is 48 and has seven children, including two adopted from Haiti and a son with Down syndrome.

She would be the fifth woman to serve on the high court.

Her husband, Jesse, and her children are at the White House for Saturday’s ceremony.

5:15 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will vote “in the weeks ahead” on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

The Republican leader said Saturday that Trump “could not have made a better decision” in nominating the appellate court judge.

McConnell says he looks forward to meeting Barrett next week.

Barrett would replace the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the court. She died of cancer on Sept. 18.

Barrett, a judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and a devout Roman Catholic, has been hailed by religious conservatives and others on the right as an ideological heir to conservative icon Antonin Scalia, the late Supreme Court justice for whom she clerked. But liberals say her 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.

5:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Trump announced the news Saturday. The selection is likely to energize the president’s base weeks before Election Day.

Barrett, a judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and a devout Roman Catholic, has been hailed by religious conservatives and others on the right as an ideological heir to conservative icon Antonin Scalia, the late Supreme Court justice for whom she clerked. But liberals say her 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.

Barrett was considered to be a finalist in 2018 before Trump nominated Justice Brett Kavanaugh for the seat vacated when Justice Anthony Kennedy retired.

At just 48, Barrett would be the youngest justice, and her tenure could last for decades.

4:05 p.m.

An airplane believed to be carrying likely Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett and her family has arrived at Joint Base Andrews.

Barrett is expected to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday evening by President Donald Trump. The plane left from South Bend, Indiana, where Barrett and her family live.

The seat was made vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week at the age of 87.

Barrett is a justice on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She was previously a law professor at Notre Dame and has been hailed as the heir to the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

She met with Trump at the White House earlier this week.

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