President Trump has announced that he is nominating the conservative federal judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the US Supreme Court.
The nomination will trigger a bitter political battle in Congress as Republicans try to have Judge Barrett confirmed by the Senate, before the Presidential and Congressional elections in November.
The US Supreme Court’s nine justices serve for life and their rulings can shape public policy long after the President who nominated them has left office.
Judge Barrett is described as a “devout Catholic” who believes that “life begins at conception”. That’s made her a favourite among religious conservatives in America who hope to overturn the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling which legalised abortion across the United States.
She’s been nominated to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of the liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who became famous for her defence of abortion and women’s rights.
Tina Daheley presents BBC News reporting by north america editor Jon Sopel in Washington.
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