After gaining the support of Senator Mitt Romney, it appears that the Republicans will likely succeed in replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg this Saturday.
After securing the necessary votes, the Republicans seem all but set to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg following her passing over the weekend.
It comes as the Democrats are pushing for the decision to be postponed until after the election, a sentiment echoed by Ginsburg’s final wish.
The highest court in the United States, the Supreme Court is presided over by a Chief Justice and eight associate justices who each have lifetime tenure. This means that, unless they are removed from office, they remain in their position until they either resign, retire or die. Currently, five out of eight justices are conservative, and following the passing of Ginsburg, only three are left-leaning.
In 2016, following the death of Antonin Scalia, Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination was blocked due to the fact that it was an election year. Now, four years later, Donald Trump is pushing to replace Ginsburg, despite the fact that we are a mere 41 days out from the election.
Surreal moment as President Trump learns of Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s passing while Tiny Dancer plays in the background. Feels like a scene out of a twisted version of Almost Famous. pic.twitter.com/iUQRosPXIQ
— Mackay Taggart (@mackaytaggart) September 19, 2020
Following her death, Ginsburg’s grandaughter revealed that it was the late justice’s “fervent wish” that she “not be replaced until a new president is installed”. Yet Trump has cast dispersions on this statement, claiming that it may have been made up by Democrats, making clear his intention to replace Ginsburg. This is set to happen on Saturday.
Trump on RBG’s reported dying wish that next pres fills her seat: “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 … But that sounds like a Schumer deal or maybe a Pelosi or Shifty Schiff.” pic.twitter.com/zE979kK2Q3
— The Recount (@therecount) September 21, 2020
Whilst Supreme Court justice nominations are made by the president, they must be approved by the Senate. Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has confirmed that he would approve Trump’s nomination. However, until today, it was unclear whether he would have the necessary support from Republicans in the Senate chamber. Two centrist Republican senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, had flagged that they would not support the confirmation of a new judicial appointment in an election year.
It was thought that Senator Mitt Romney, who has a rocky history with Trump (he was the only Republican who voted against the president in his impeachment trial), might also go against the decision; however, Romney has now come forward and said that he would consider Trump’s nominee. If Trump is successful in appointing a new Supreme Court Justice, the move would well and truly solidify the court’s ideological leaning, giving it a 6-3 conservative majority.
How does Mitt Romney square, who voted to impeach the President, and who has said Trump is unfit for office, but oh by the way he can put someone on Supreme Court for life?
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) September 22, 2020
“My decision regarding a Supreme Court nomination is not the result of a subjective test of ‘fairness’ which, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder,” Romney said, according to the BBC.
“It is based on the immutable fairness of following the law, which in this case is the Constitution and precedent. The historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party’s nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own.”
Mitt Romney marched with black lives matter now will vote to confirm judges that believe in the criminalization of protesting.
— Really American 🇺🇸 (@ReallyAmerican1) September 23, 2020
If Trump does replace Ginsburg prior to the election and the Democrats go on to win, they may decide to add more seats to the Supreme Court in order to give it more of an ideological balance. Yet in the meantime, Ginsburg’s replacement could have a profound impact on upcoming issues of abortion, voting rights, healthcare, gun rights, and presidential powers.
So who is Trump’s likely pick? Trump has pledged to choose a woman to fill Ginsburg’s role, and at this point, the two front runners are Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa, who are both currently appeals court judges.
Barrett, 48, was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2017 and is a favourite among anti-abortion rights advocates due to her Catholic background. If elected, she would be the youngest justice, meaning she could serve for decades to come.
Amy Coney Barrett – the “Job of a Judge” pic.twitter.com/72Zc3TGnxt
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) September 22, 2020
Meanwhile, Lagoa, 52, was appointed to the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals last December. Prior to this, she was the first Hispanic woman and the first Cuban American woman on the Supreme Court of Florida. Unlike Barrett, she supports Roe v. Wade, the landmark US ruling which protects a woman’s rights to have an abortion.
Thank you Mr. President @realDonaldTrump for even considering a Cuban-American woman from Miami/Hialeah ssa possible nominee for a seat at the highest table in the land. This is great for Latin and Cuban community #BarbaraLagoa will make us proud when confirmed #supernecessary pic.twitter.com/CcKPzs9AxG
— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) September 22, 2020
At this point, it looks like Barrett is tipped as the favourite. Trump is set to announce his new Supreme Court nominee at 5 pm on Saturday.
Get to know this name and her story now because you’ll be hearing a ton about her for the next 7 weeks: Amy Coney Barrett – who will almost undoubtedly be President Trump’s choice to fill the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s seat.
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) September 19, 2020