ACB's meteoric rise to the higest court in the land 

Four years ago, Amy Coney Barrett was a little-known law professor in Indiana. Within weeks, she is likely to be the newest associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Barrett's fast-track rise, set to drive the nation's highest court to the right for a generation or longer, is the fulfillment of a decades-long effort by conservatives to remake the federal bench that kicked into high gear after President Donald was elected. 

For , whose 2016 victory was bolstered by white evangelicals' reluctant support of his candidacy tied to his promise to fill the seat vacated by the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia with a conservative, the latest nomination brings his first term full circle.

Even before Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, was campaigning for reelection in 2020 on his record of confirming more than 200 federal judges during his first term, fulfilling a generational aim of conservative legal activists.

Four years ago, Amy Coney Barrett was a little-known law professor in Indiana. Within weeks, she is likely to be the newest associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court

Four years ago, Amy Coney Barrett was a little-known law professor in Indiana. Within weeks, she is likely to be the newest associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court

'Today's nomination is the capstone of a more than four-year process where the president seized upon the issue, stayed focused, and called attention to a small bench of very talented people who he could put on the Supreme Court,' said Leonard Leo, of the conservative Federalist Society.

The following account is based on information from five people familiar with the process and the president's thinking who were not authorized to speak publicly about the details.

Within weeks of 's victory in 2016, incoming White House counsel Don McGahn, Leo and a handful of other attorneys set about drawing up lists of potential nominees for more than 100 federal judicial vacancies. First among them was the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Scalia, but they also dug deeper.

Barrett, then a law professor at Notre Dame, was not well known in political circles in Indiana and almost unheard of nationally. But she found herself on the list of potential picks for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in large part thanks to McGahn. A fellow Notre Dame alum, McGahn knew Barrett from conservative legal circles, like Leo's influential Federalist Society, and talked her up to the Indiana congressional delegation.

For Trump, whose 2016 victory was bolstered by white evangelicals' reluctant support of his candidacy tied to his promise to fill the seat vacated by the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia with a conservative, the latest nomination brings his first term full circle

For , whose 2016 victory was bolstered by white evangelicals' reluctant support of his candidacy tied to his promise to fill the seat vacated by the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia with a conservative, the latest nomination brings his first term full circle

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Trump told aides he was 'saving' Barrett for Ginsburg's seat after she failed to get Justice Anthony Kennedy's seat

told aides he was 'saving' Barrett for Ginsburg's seat after she failed to get Justice Anthony Kennedy's seat 

Barrett faced a bruising nomination battle for the appellate seat in 2017 that caught the attention of , who was impressed with her ability to keep her cool under critical questioning by Democratic senators, including a grilling by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California regarding her Catholic faith.

'I think in your case, professor, when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,' Feinstein said. 'And that's of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for, for years in this country.'

Barrett's was the only confirmation hearing for an appellate judge that McGahn sat through in person on Capitol Hill, and the only investiture he attended when she took her seat on the 7th Circuit. After Barrett was confirmed on a party-line vote, some White House lawyers made coffee mugs with the phrase: 'The dogma lives loudly within you.'

Months later, in the fall of 2017, set about updating

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