WASHINGTON – Appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, among the jurists on a short list of potential candidates for the Supreme Court, met with President Donald Trump at the White House Monday, two advisers speaking on condition of anonymity said.
Trump has said he will announce his Supreme Court pick at the end of this week, after memorial services for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Barrett and appeals court Judge Barbara Lagoa are considered among the top candidates for the job.
The advisers spoke to USA TODAY on the condition of anonymity to discuss a meeting that was not listed on Trump's public schedule. The length of the meeting was not known.
The president has also said he may meet with Lagoa while in Miami later this week. Trump said five women are being vetted for the seat. He said Monday he probably would not interview all of the candidates personally.
More: Donald Trump says he'll 'probably' announce Supreme Court pick by Saturday
"We'll make a decision probably Saturday – but Friday or Saturday," Trump told reporters at the White House, adding that he would like to see the Republican-run Senate vote on his nominee by Election Day on Nov. 3.
Amy Coney Barrett, 48, who was a finalist for Trump's second high court nod in 2018 that ultimately went to Brett Kavanaugh, could move the high court further to the right – perhaps for decades to come.
Barrett rocketed to the top of Trump's list of potential nominees after her 2017 confirmation hearing for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, when Democrats cited her deep Catholic faith not as an advantage but an obstacle. She was confirmed, 55-43.
More: Front-runner for Supreme Court nomination to replace Ginsburg is a favorite of religious conservatives
"If you're asking whether I take my faith seriously and I'm a faithful Catholic, I am," Barrett responded during that hearing, "although I would stress that my personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear in the discharge of my duties as a judge."
Contributing: John Fritze, Richard Wolf
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