Speaking at a campaign rally in North Carolina, the US president reiterated a claim made to reporters hours before that he will not wait until after the election to nominate a SCOTUS judge to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Prior to departing for the rally from Washington DC, Trump was asked by journalists about whether he would wait until the general election in November to nominate a new Supreme Court justice – which is a life-long position in the US.
“We have an obligation. We won, and we have an obligation as the winners to pick who we won. That’s not the next president – hopefully, I’ll be the next president – but, we’re here now,” he responded.
President Trump: “I will be putting forth a nominee next week. It will be a woman.” #SCOTUS
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 20, 2020
Trump was then asked whether he would like the nominee to be a woman.
“I could see most likely it would be a woman. Yeah, I think I can say that. It would be a woman. If somebody were to ask me now, I would say that a woman would be in first place. The choice of a woman I would say would certainly be appropriate.”
He then headed to North Carolina, where he reiterated the claim with certainty, as the crowd of his supporters was chanting “fill that seat.”
US media, citing sources close to the president, have reported that Trump’s main candidate for the job would be federal appeals judge Amy Coney Barrett. She was listed among Trump’s potential picks for SCOTUS announced several days ago.
The Supreme Court seat became vacant after the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday. Her death raised the stakes in an already hotly-contested upcoming presidential election, as Democrats hope to preserve her liberal-leaning seat if Joe Biden wins, and Republicans possibly look to nominate a conservative justice in the second term of President Trump.
The second-ever woman to be nominated to the US Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg championed liberal causes and feminist issues throughout her legal career. She was 87.
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” Ginsburg told her granddaughter Clara Spera, NPR reported on Friday.
President Trump’s previous two nominations to the court – Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh – sparked intense partisan struggles. With a highly contentious presidential election approaching, the new nomination to the court has every chance of becoming equally controversial.
Tom Pappert breaks down the dark legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.