Following the death of Constitutional Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, US President Donald Trump has stated that she will fill her vacant position at the US Supreme Court as soon as possible. But the necessary support from the Senate for a quick replacement at the Supreme Court is not necessarily certain.
On Sunday, a second senator from Trump’s Republicans spoke out against a vote on Ginsburg’s successor ahead of the presidential election, which is about six weeks from now. The constitutional judges are appointed by the president, but the senate must approve it.
You will not support a Senate vote on Ginsburg’s successor “so shortly before the election,” said Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine had previously opposed the quick vote Trump had called for. Both senators belong to the moderate party wing.
Given the narrow majority of Republicans in the Senate, the statements by Murkowski and Collins mean that Trump is unlikely to be able to push through the swift Supreme Court replacement with only two other Republican deviants.
Opposition presidential candidate Joe Biden urged the Senate not to vote on Ginsburg’s successor before the election. The Democrat criticized Trump’s plan to fill the vacant post as soon as possible as an “abuse of power” and an act of “raw political power.”
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“If I win the election, President Trump’s nomination must be withdrawn,” Biden demanded in a speech in Philadelphia. The former vice president is currently ahead of Trump in the polls.
The president of the republic in the senate, Mitch McConnell, criticized Biden for having already announced “in the hour after Ginsburg’s death” that he would organize a vote on her successor. McConnell had stated that he would not refuse to vote on Ginsburg’s successor before the election – contrary to his previous behavior.
Trump could nominate Amy Coney Barrett
According to media reports, Chicago District Judge Amy Coney Barrett is the most likely candidate for Trump. She is known as a clear anti-abortion – this is a central issue for conservatives in the US. At 48, Barrett could potentially have a long time ahead of him in the Supreme Court.
52-year-old judge Barbara Lagoa is also considered a promising candidate. She is from Florida and thus from a state in which the outcome of the upcoming presidential election could be determined.
In 2016, more than ten months before the presidential election, McConnell blocked the nomination process for a successor to a late Conservative judge suggested by then-President Barack Obama. Obama’s recruitment proposal failed – and shortly after replacing Obama as president in early 2017, Trump appointed a Conservative judge to the vacant post at the Supreme Court.
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The occupation of the US Supreme Court is extremely explosive politically. Due to the country’s strong polarization, the Supreme Court often has the final say on important issues, ranging from abortion to possession of weapons and the death penalty.
In addition, the constitutional judges are appointed for life, meaning their nomination by the president has the potential to have consequences for decades. Trump has already appointed two Conservative justices to the Supreme Court during his tenure, giving the Conservatives the upper hand in the nine-member court. Another conservative could reinforce this obesity for a long time.
The greatest wish of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ginsburg died of cancer on Friday at the age of 87. She was one of the four remaining left-wing liberals in the college of judges. Trump called her successor arrangement an “outright obligation.” So he will make a choice “very soon”, which will “most likely” be a woman.
According to public radio station NPR, Ginsburg herself had expressed the hope shortly before her death that her successor would not be determined until after the presidential election. A few days before her death, she dictated her “last will” to her granddaughter Clara Spera: “My dearest wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is appointed.” (AFP)