US President Donald Trump has doubts about the last wish of the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburgon her successor, which she is said to have dictated to her granddaughter according to a media report. “My fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is in office,” Ginsburg is said to have said a few days before her death, as reported by the NPR radio station, citing granddaughter Clara Spera. Trump told Fox News on Monday that he did not know whether Ginsburg had said that or if it was formulated by his Democratic opponents in Congress, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Adam Schiff. “I would rather tend to the second,” said Trump. “Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t.”
The liberal judge died on Friday of complications from cancer at the age of 87. A controversy has broken out over the successor. Trump would like to get a candidate for the vacant position through the Senate before the November 3rd election. The Democrats, on the other hand, are calling for this year’s election winner to settle the succession. Republican majority leader in the chamber, Mitch McConnell, said Monday the Senate would vote on a US Supreme Court candidate nominated by US President Donald Trump later this year . Contrary to what the Democrats claim, there is enough time and good reasons for this.
Several memorial ceremonies planned for the deceased Ginsburg
Trump said Monday he would prefer a vote on who will succeed Ginsburg before the presidential election. He reiterated that he would nominate a woman for the post and announce his selection on Friday or Saturday. Five candidates are shortlisted. Trump confirmed that including judges Amy Coney Barrett, 48 years old, from Chicago and 52-year-old Barbara Lagoa from Florida, who are considered favorites by the US media. Barrett and Lagoa are both described as conservative Catholics who oppose abortion, for example.
Ginsburg, on the other hand, was a liberal women’s rights activist and an icon of the civil rights movement. She died on Friday at the age of 87 after suffering from cancer. Several memorial ceremonies for the longtime constitutional judge are planned in Washington this week. According to the Supreme Court, the funeral is only scheduled for next week in a private setting at Arlington National Cemetery.
Filling the vacant position in the US Supreme Court could have far-reaching consequences for the country’s socio-political orientation. After Ginsburg’s death, only three of the nine seats in the Supreme Court are held by liberals, and the five remaining judges are all considered conservative. A far more conservative America could emerge with decisions about abortion rights, immigration issues or civil rights. Since the judges are appointed for life, Trump could cement the conservative majority for years or even decades by appointing a comparatively young judge.
Trump wants to strengthen the conservative majority in the Supreme Court
The constitutional judges are nominated by the president and have to be confirmed by a simple majority in the Senate – one of two chambers in Congress. Around a third of the 100 Senate seats will be available for election on November 3rd.
Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urged his Republican opponent McConnell to honor Ginsburg’s request. Schumer pointed out that McConnell had blocked a candidate from President Barack Obama to succeed the late Conservative Constitutional Judge Antonin Scalia in the 2016 election year. McConnell had said more than eight months before the 2016 election: “The American people should have a vote in choosing their next Supreme Court judge, so this post should not be filled until we have a new president.”
Trump is striving for a quick replacement in order to strengthen the conservative majority in the Supreme Court. The dispute over the successor is likely to shape the hot phase of the US election campaign. Trump warned at an election rally on Monday: “If Joe Biden and the Democrats come to power, they will pack the Supreme Court full of radical leftists who will unilaterally change American society beyond recognition.” Trump’s supporters chanted “Fill the Seat” – in German something like: Occupy the seat.