Tue | Oct 27, 2020

Trump promises to replace Ginsburg with a woman - and soon

Published:Sunday | September 20, 2020 | 10:00 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is promising to put forth a female nominee in the coming week to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, pushing the Republican-controlled Senate to consider the pick without delay.

Taking the stage Saturday night at a North Carolina rally to chants of “Fill that seat,” the president said he would nominate his selection despite Democrats’ objections. And, after conducting what he joked was a “very scientific poll” of the Fayetteville crowd as to whether supporters wanted a man or a woman, he declared the choice would be “a very talented, very brilliant woman.”

He added that he did not yet know whom he would choose.

“We win an election and those are the consequences,” said the president, who then seemed to signal that he’d be willing to accept a vote on his nominee during the lame-duck period after the election. “We have a lot of time. We have plenty of time. We’re talking about January 20th.”

But one Republican senator had already broken ranks. Maine’s Susan Collins, who is in a tough reelection battle, said earlier Saturday that she believed replacing Ginsburg should be the decision of the president who is elected Nov. 3. Three more defections from the GOP ranks would be needed to stop Trump’s nominee from joining the court.

Trump this month added 20 more names to his roster of potential court nominees, and aides in recent days have focused on a short list heavy on female candidates, according to four White House aides and officials close to the process. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to publicly discuss private conversations.

Those under close consideration for the high court include three women who are federal appeals court judges: Amy Coney Barrett, beloved among conservatives and an early favorite; Barbara Lagoa, who is Hispanic and comes from the battleground state of Florida; and Allison Jones Rushing, who clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas and for Neil Gorsuch, when the current Trump-appointed justice was an appeals court judge.

At least one man, appeals court Judge Amul Thapar, has also been under consideration. A McConnell ally from Kentucky, he has been screened by Trump’s team for past openings and he would be the first Asian American on the high court.

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