Good morning …
… and welcome to our coverage of a day in US politics due to end, at 5pm, with Donald Trump’s announcement of Amy Coney Barrett as his choice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the supreme court.
It’s not definitely Barrett. The choice was reported by numerous outlets last night, though Trump underscored the validity of CNN’s warning – “All sources cautioned that until it is announced by the president, there is always the possibility that Trump makes a last-minute change” – by telling reporters it “could be any one” of five women and insisting: “I haven’t said it is her.”
But he did reportedly say in 2018: “I’m saving her for Ginsburg.”
Barrett is a strict conservative and devout Catholic who by replacing a liberal lion would tilt the court firmly right, 6-3. Which is why Republicans in the Senate are ready to ram the nomination through, even though only 38 days remain until election day.
Public polling suggests a majority think so momentous a choice should be made by the winner of that election, Trump or Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee who still has a relatively healthy lead in the polls. No matter.
We’ll have coverage through the day, of course. In the meantime, for some further reading, here’s our chief reporter, Ed Pilkington, on the role of the Senate in all this: