President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that a woman would be in ‘first place’ to receive his nomination to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
He named two Conservative women whom he elevated as contenders to federal appeals courts, a move that would tilt the court further to the right.
Trump, who now has the chance to nominate a third justice for a lifetime nomination in court, named Amy Coney Barrett of the Chicago-based 7th Circuit and Barbara Lagoa of the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit as possible nominees.
In particular he praised Lagoa as an ‘incredible person’.
The president has not committed to a timeline for the nomination, but he is expected to disclose the name within seven days of saying he was ‘required’ to do so ‘without delay’.
President Trump said on Saturday that his Supreme Court candidate is most likely a woman
According to CNN, a source said the nomination announcement can rely on when Ginsburg’s funeral takes place.
Even before Ginsburg’s death, Trump had made a list of potential nominees public.
Barrett may have aroused the most interest in conservative circles. She was a devout Roman Catholic and was a legal scholar at Notre Dame Law School in Indiana before Trump appointed her to the 7th Circuit in 2017.
A Barrett nomination would likely spark controversy, as her strong conservative religious views have prompted abortion rights groups to say that, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she would likely vote to support the historic 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, who legalized abortion nationally. .
Lagoa has served less than a year on the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals after being appointed by Trump and confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 80-15. Before that, she also spent less than a year in her previous position as the first Latina to serve on the Florida Supreme Court.
She previously spent more than a decade as a judge at a Florida intermediate court.
Another candidate Trump has considered before is Amul Thapar. He was a Kentucky district court – the first federal judge of South Asian descent – before Trump appointed him to the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit in 2017.
Ginsburg’s death on Friday from cancer after 27 years in court gave Trump, seeking reelection on Nov. 3, the opportunity to expand his Conservative majority to 6-3 at a time of a yawning political divide in America.
Conservative activists have spent years trying to get enough votes in the Supreme Court to bring down Roe vs. Wade. During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised to appoint judges who would overturn that decision.
But the court, even with its Conservative majority, dropped a restrictive Louisiana abortion law in July with a vote of 5-4.
Amy Coney Barrett is one of the front runners. She may have aroused the most interest in conservative circles. She was a devout Roman Catholic and was a legal scholar at Notre Dame Law School in Indiana before Trump appointed her to the 7th Circuit in 2017
The two justices already appointed by Trump were Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation process was particularly heated when he was faced with allegations from a California college professor, Christine Blasey Ford, that he sexually assaulted her in 1982 while the two were high school students in Maryland.
Kavanaugh angrily denied those charges and were narrowly confirmed.
Any nomination would require approval in the Senate, where Trump’s Republicans have a majority of 53-47.
“We were placed in this powerful and important position to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered the selection of United States Supreme Court justices,” Trump said on Twitter.
“We have this obligation, without delay!”
Trump praised Spanish judge Barbara Lagoa as an ‘incredible person’
Not all Republican senators supported the move: Susan Collins of Maine said on Saturday that Trump should hold off nominating.
“In fairness to the American people, who will either re-elect the president or elect a new one, the decision on a lifetime nomination to the Supreme Court must be made by the president who will be elected on Nov. 3,” Collins said. itself a tough re-election race, according to Twitter.
Democrats are still sighing over the Republican Senate’s refusal to accept Democratic President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in 2016 after Conservative Judge Antonin Scalia died ten months before that election. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell then said that the Senate should not act against a nominated court during an election year, a position he has since reversed.
Even if Democrats win the White House and a Senate majority in the November election, Trump and McConnell have time, as the all-new Congress wouldn’t be sworn in until January 3.
Senior congressional Democrats put forward the prospect of adding additional judges next year to counterbalance Trump’s nominees if they win control of the White House and Senate in the November election.
McConnell, who has made confirming Trump’s federal judicial nominees a top priority, said the chamber would vote on any candidate for Trump.
Having little resources to avoid the final nomination being passed, Democrats plan to try to rally public opposition to the movement.
‘The focus should be to show the public what is at stake in this battle. And what’s really at stake is people’s access to affordable health care, workers’ and women’s rights, ”Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen said in a phone interview.
Obama himself called on Senate Republicans on Saturday to honor what he called that “ made-up ” 2016 principle.
“A basic tenet of the law – and of everyday fairness – is that we apply rules consistently, not based on what’s convenient or beneficial at the time,” Obama said in a statement posted online.
Republicans risk the possibility of liberals embracing more radical proposals if Trump replaces Ginsburg, but Democrats win November’s election, with some activists on the left suggesting even before Ginsburg’s death that the number of judges in court should be increased to support the appointees. Trump.
“Let me be clear: if Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans go on with this, then nothing will be off the table for next year,” Senate Leader Chuck Schumer told fellow Democrats in a conference call on Saturday, according to a source listening to the bells.
Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the Judicial Committee of the House of Representatives, said Saturday it would be “undemocratic” to rush the Senate if the Democrats win in November.
He said in a Twitter post that this would mean that “Congress should act and court extension would be the right place to start.”
Confirmation votes could also put more pressure on incumbent Republican senators in competitive election races, including Collins and Martha McSally of Arizona, at a time when Democrats want a chance to gain control of that chamber. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, who is out of reelection this cycle, could also play a pivotal role.
She told local media Friday, prior to Ginsburg’s death, that she would not vote so close before the election for a Supreme Court candidate.