Indiana woman considered front-runner in SCOTUS vacancy


INDIANAPOLIS — A Hoosier is one of the front-runners to fill the vacant United States Supreme Court seat.

President Donald Trump said he plans to announce his pick on Friday or Saturday of this week.

Some Republicans— including Indiana U.S. Senator Mike Braun— believe this position should be filled before the election.

But is that possible?

“In this case, the presidency and the senate are both controlled by Republicans, so we expect that there won’t be a lot of disagreement here,” explained University of Indianapolis Political Science Associate Professor Laura Wilson.

Purdue University Political Science Professor James McCann added, “It seems unlikely that this could actually happen before the election, there are a lot of hurdles that would have to be crossed.”

It’s difficult to say if the U.S. Senate will end up voting on a Supreme Court pick before the November 3 General Election, but it could change the game if they don’t.

“If Senate Republicans wait until after November, and should the president not win reelection, which is a possibility, there are some Republicans in purple states that may think, ‘You know, we’re not going to vote for this controversial pick,’” said Politico Magazine Contributor Adam Wren.

One of the front-runners to be picked is a Notre Dame law professor, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett. United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is also from Indiana.

“Hoosiers are making an impact on the national stage,” said Wilson. “And that’s no surprise to many of us here in the state.”

Judge Barrett, 48, has a history of ruling in favor of President Trump’s immigration policies and supported expanding gun rights.

Abortion rights groups have expressed concern about some of her abortion-related votes.

Her strong Catholic ties and her stance on the Affordable Care Act are expected to be questioned during confirmation, if chosen.

“What’s also fascinating here, is you have the Democratic vice presidential pick Senator Kamala Harris on the Judiciary Committee, so she’s really going to take a star turn in questioning Amy Coney Barrett,” said Wren. “So, I think that will be a fascinating thing to watch.”

Indiana U.S. Senator Mike Braun has expressed his support of Barrett and voting before the election.

“I think that elections have consequences. We do have the presidency, and we have the Senate, and I think most Republicans in Indiana would want us to move forward, and I think there are even independents and others that might as well,” said U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R) Indiana. “I think Amy Coney Barrett would be an excellent nominee. I hope Trump selects her, and McConnell has said that he’ll bring a vote to the floor, and I think it’d be wonderful.”

Indiana’s other U.S. Senator, Todd Young, has yet to make a public comment on this issue.

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