After leading what he joked was a “very scientific poll” of the Fayetteville crowd as to whether fans wanted a man or a woman, he said the choice would be “a very talented, very brave woman.”
“I will nominate a candidate next week. It will be a woman, ”Trump said. “I think it should be a woman because I actually like women a lot more than men.”He added that he was not yet sure who he would choose.
“We win an election and these are the consequences,” said the president, who then appeared to signal that he would be willing to accept a vote on his candidate during the lame duck period after the election. “We have a lot of time. We have plenty of time. We are talking about January 20. ”
He praised Ginsburg as a “legal giant… His historic decisions, his fierce dedication to justice, and his courageous battle with cancer inspire all Americans.
Earlier, Trump had said he had an “obligation” to act without delay. “We have an obligation. We won and we have an obligation as winners to choose who we want. He’s not the next president. We are here right now. ”
A Republican senator has already broken ranks, with Susan Collins of Maine, who is in a tough re-election battle, saying on Saturday that she believes replacing Ginsburg should be the president-elect’s decision on November 3. Three more defections from the ranks of the GOP would be needed to prevent the Trump candidate from joining the tribunal.
At stake is a seat occupied by a judge who spent his final years on the bench as the undisputed leader of the liberal wing of the court. Senate Majority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell has vowed to call a vote for Trump’s nominee, but Democrats countered that Republicans should follow the precedent GOP lawmakers set in 2016 by refusing to ‘consider a choice of the Supreme Court as the elections approach.
The looming clash over the vacant seat – when to fill it and with whom – scrambles the stretched run of a presidential race for a nation already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic that has killed nearly 200,000 people, left millions unemployed and exacerbated partisan tensions and anger.
McConnell pledged to Trump in a phone call Friday night to get the choice to vote, although he did not say if it would be before the election. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has said any selection should come after November 3.
“Voters should choose the president and the president should choose which justice to consider,” Biden said.
The president added 20 more names to his list of potential court candidates this month, and aides in recent days have focused on a shortlist of female candidates, according to four White House assistants and officials familiar with the process. . They spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to discuss private conversations publicly.
Among those closely scrutinized for the High Court are three women who are judges of the Federal Court of Appeal: Amy Coney Barrett, beloved of the Conservatives and one of the first favorites; Barbara Lagoa, who is Hispanic and comes from the battlefield state of Florida; and Allison Jones Rushing, who was clerk for Judge Clarence Thomas and for Neil Gorsuch, when the current judge appointed by Trump was an appeals court judge.
McConnell, who sets the timeline in the Senate and has made judicial appointments his priority, said unequivocally in a statement that Trump’s nominee will receive a confirmation vote. In 2016, McConnell refused to consider Barack Obama’s candidate months before the election, ultimately preventing a vote on Judge Merrick Garland.
New York’s Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer called a conference call with Democratic Senators at noon on Saturday, according to a person in private conversation who was not authorized to discuss it publicly and who spoke on condition of anonymity . He told senators that “the number one goal” must be to communicate the issues of the confirmation vote.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump vowed to appoint judges who would overturn Roe v Wade, a long-standing goal of conservative activists. Even with the current Conservative majority, the court voted 5 to 4 in July to repeal a restrictive abortion law in Louisiana.
Cristine Crispell, who works in special education in Reedsville, Ga., Drove five hours to attend Saturday’s rally with her two teenage daughters.
She said Trump had “absolutely” the right to appoint a new judge, even so close to the election. “I would like to see Roe v Wade knocked down,” she said. “The holiness of life is a huge thing.”