Trump to name new Supreme Court nominee Saturday
WASHINGTON—As the nation mourns the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Donald Trump stated he will announce her replacement at the end of the week.
On Friday, Sept. 18, Ginsburg died at age 87 from complications of pancreatic cancer. During her tenure on the Supreme Court, she was a progressive trailblazer for gender equality and reproductive rights.
In the days before her death, she dictated a note to her granddaughter Clara Spera: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."
Trump questioned the validity of the statement, claiming it was a plot by the Democrats to rob him of the opportunity to install a replacement Justice. He did not cite evidence to support his claim.
“I don't know that she said that, or was that written out by Adam Schiff, and Schumer and Pelosi? I would be more inclined to the second, okay, you know. It came out of the wind; it sounds so beautiful. But that sounds like a Schumer deal, or maybe a Pelosi or shifty Schiff. So that came out of the wind,” he said Monday morning on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has assured Trump that the Supreme Court nominee will have a confirmation vote. Moderate Republicans Sens. Corey Gardner (Colo.) and Mitt Romney (Utah) announced their support to move forward with the confirmation. Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) oppose voting on the nominee before the presidential election
“Americans re-elected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary,” read McConnell’s condolence statement. “Once again, we will keep our promise. President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
McConnell's position is a stark contrast to his stance in 2016 when he and other Republicans blocked Merrick Garland, Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. In his 2016 speech following the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, McConnell said, "The Senate will continue to observe the Biden Rule so that the American people have a voice in this momentous decision."
The Biden Rule refers to a 1992 speech delivered by then-Senator Joe Biden, in which he urged the Senate to delay confirmations of any Supreme Court nominees until after the election or until a moderate nominee was presented. He cited the contentious 1991 Thomas confirmation as the reason for his statement. No Justices were nominated in 1992.
McConnell's statement in 2016, instead, demanded the process be carried out under a new president in response to one nomination being made. The nomination later lapsed.