Donald Trump has made his choice, which he will solemnly announce on Saturday: Conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett should be appointed to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court of the United States, in a climate of extreme divisions 38 days before the presidential election .
The American president, who has already made it known that he will appoint a woman, is due to speak at 5 p.m. from the rose garden of the White House.
But the suspense was lifted on Friday evening by the mainstream American media, which reported in unison that he had chosen (except last minute turnaround) Amy Coney Barrett, a 48-year-old practicing Catholic opposed to abortion.
“We're going to announce someone fantastic! », Launched Friday evening the Republican billionaire, campaigning for his re-election in the State of Virginia, in front of an enthusiastic crowd. He had earlier confirmed having made his choice, without giving a name.
If this choice is confirmed, then validated by the Senate, Amy Coney Barrett will strengthen the conservative majority within this key institution after the death of the progressive “RBG”, a feminist icon who died last week by cancer.
Call to wait
Donald Trump has started the process to firmly anchor the Supreme Court in conservatism, its judges being appointed for life.
His presidential opponent Joe Biden and the entire Democratic camp are upset, arguing that it should be up to the winner of November 3 to make such a decisive choice for American society, since the highest court decides on ultra-sensitive issues, such as abortion or the right to bear arms.
If the president's candidate is confirmed, as expected, by the Republican-majority Senate, the Supreme Court will have only three progressive judges out of its nine magistrates. And the former real estate magnate will have appointed, a rare occurrence, three supreme judges in a single mandate.
Despite the Democratic outcry, the upper house could even decide before the presidential election.
The powerful civil rights organization ACLU again urged the Senate on Saturday to “postpone the confirmation process” until the day after the inauguration of the next president, on January 20.
The subject will undoubtedly be at the heart of the campaign's first televised debate Tuesday night between Joe Biden, favorite in the polls, and Donald Trump, who is partly relying on this sequence to catch up.
The choice of Amy Coney Barrett, mother of seven, law professor and magistrate known for her traditionalist religious convictions, could galvanize the conservative Christian electorate on which Donald Trump relied heavily in his surprise election there. four years.
Especially since despite a majority of judges already theoretically on the right after two appointments by the former New York businessman, the Supreme Court had inflicted at the beginning of the summer a series of setbacks on the conservative camp, on the 'voluntary termination of pregnancy as on the rights of sexual minorities and young undocumented migrants.
The high court “spits in the faces of people proud to consider themselves Republicans or conservatives”, then cursed Donald Trump.
Amy Coney Barrett (“ACB”, as some media nickname her) was already among the favorites in 2018 for the Supreme Court when the president finally preferred Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
This time, the other lesser-known favorite was Barbara Lagoa. Born in Florida 52 years ago to parents who fled the communist regime of Fidel Castro, she could have been a political asset for Donald Trump in this potentially decisive southern state for the presidential election.
A “wonderful woman” and “Hispanic”, had underlined the Republican, who however said Friday not to have met her in person.
A sign of political tensions, it was under the boos of demonstrators that Donald Trump came to meditate Thursday in front of the remains of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, exposed at the entrance to the Supreme Court.
Just a week after his death, at the age of 87, “RBG” received his last solemn tributes on Friday at the United States Capitol, in the presence of Joe Biden and his running mate for the vice-presidency, Kamala Harris.
“Today, Judge Ginsburg made history one last time,” tweeted the former US vice president.
She will be buried in private next week at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington.