Trump Narrows SCOTUS Nominee Shortlist to Five, Is 'Considering' Barbara Lagoa

President Donald Trump has said his shortlist of judges to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has narrowed to five and he's considering one Florida judge state Republicans have been pushing.

Trump told Fox News' morning program Fox & Friends on Monday that he was seriously considering Judge Barbara Lagoa for the open Supreme Court seat. She's emerged as a leading contender over the past few days.

"She's excellent, she's Hispanic, she's a terrific woman from everything I know. I don't know her. Florida, we love Florida. So she's got a lot of things, very smart," Trump told the Fox News hosts.

Of his shortlist, Trump added: "They're all very smart. We don't have to say that. There are actually five of them [we're] looking at.

"It could be any one of them. They'd all be great. These are really top people. To get on that list [...] You know, I created a list."

Trump went on to criticize former Vice President Joe Biden for not releasing a list of his possible Supreme Court picks.

The Democratic presidential candidate has been reluctant to outline who he might choose to sit on the nation's highest court. Trump has issued a list publicly, drawing on recommendations from the conservative Federalist Society.

Lagoa has been a judge on the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals since last year, following a brief stint on the Florida State Supreme Court. The 52-year-old is a graduate of Columbia Law School.

Lagoa is reportedly a devout Roman Catholic but little is known about her stance on abortion—a key issue for the president's conservative supporters and a top priority for Republicans when choosing judicial nominees.

By contrast, rival contender Judge Amy Coney Barrett is popular among groups opposed to abortion, is better known than Lagoa and has long been considered a front-runner for the next open Supreme Court seat.

However, Florida Republicans think Lagoa could be a win for Trump heading into the November election. She's a conservative Cuban-American and the Florida GOP has argued her nomination with clinch the state for the president.

"If the president picks Barbara Lagoa, they will be dancing salsa with joy in Hialeah well past November," Congressman Matt Gaetz said on September 20, referring to Lagoa's hometown, which has a large Cuban-American population.

Pollsters believe Florida is a must-win for Trump in November, though it's not clear what impact choosing Lagoa might have on the polls there.

Barbara Lagoa with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Barbara Lagoa speaks as newly sworn-in Gov. Ron DeSantis and his lieutenant governor Jeanette Nuñez stand behind her at an event in the Freedom Tower where Mr. DeSantis named her to the Florida Supreme Court on January 09, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Mr. DeSantis was sworn in yesterday as the 46th governor of the state of Florida. Lagoa is under serious consideration for the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Trump Narrows SCOTUS Nominee Shortlist to Five, Is 'Considering' Barbara Lagoa | Politics