With the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, there is now a Supreme Court vacancy with just almost one month before the election. This vacancy gives President Trump the chance to nominate and the Senate to vote on the third justice of his presidency. But while Democrats and some Republicans have called on Trump to wait until after the election, the president plans to move ahead with the nomination process, and will announce his pick by either Friday or Saturday of this week.
In an interview with Fox & Friends, Trump said he is stalling his announcement in order to “pay respects” to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Trump said he hopes the nomination process will be complete by November 3rd. He said, “I think it should go very quickly. We have a lot of time. Especially if the people we’re talking about, most of them are young and they’ve gone through the process pretty recently.”
Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Barbara Lagoa, and Allison Jones Rushing are the three who are allegedly at the top of the list. Barrett was nominated and confirmed to serve on the US Court of Appeals for the 7th district in 2017. She served as a clerk for the late Justice Scalia. Lagoa was also nominated in 2019 to serve on the US Court of Appeal for the 11th district. Barrett and Lagoa are 48 and 52-years-old, respectfully. These women also were both confirmed by a bipartisan vote in the Senate.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who led the Senate in 2016, would not move forward Merrick Garland’s nomination vote from President Obama, as he argued it was during an election year. Because of this decision, McConnell is coming under criticism from both sides of the aisle. But McConnell has said that it is a different circumstance, because in 2016 the Republicans held the majority in both the House and the Senate.
Why this matters: If Trump announces his nominee this week, it will be right before the first presidential debate. Furthermore, the question of who should be nominated and when has now become a central election issue. Both sides are fired up, as they realize once again how important the president is for choosing Supreme Court justices, and the impact these judges have on the laws and culture in our country. McConnell has confirmed a historic amount of judges in Trump’s first term, marking his legacy as a leader who redefined the justice system in the United States. Now, he has a chance to confirm another Supreme Court justice, but with Democrat opposition, it might cost the Republican party the White House in November.