President Donald Trump says he will announce his nominee to fill the United States Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death by this weekend.
In an interview on “Fox & Friends” Monday morning, the president said he will announce his decision “Friday or Saturday,” after funeral services for Justice Ginsburg.
“I think it will be on Friday or Saturday,” Trump said. “We want to pay respect; it looks like we will have, probably, services on Thursday or Friday, as I understand it. I think, you know, with all due respect, we should wait until the services are over for Justice Ginsburg.”
“So we’re looking probably at Friday or maybe Saturday,” Trump added.
Brian Kilmeade asked the president about three of his rumored top choices for the court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Judge Barbara Lagoa of the Eleventh Circuit, and Judge Allison Jones Rushing of the Fourth Circuit. The president confirmed that Lagoa is under consideration.
“Well, she’s excellent. She’s Hispanic. She’s a terrific woman from everything I know; I don’t know her,” Trump said, noting that Lagoa is from Florida and “we love Florida.”
Lagoa is one of the recent additions to President Trump’s Supreme Court list, along with Rushing. The president said he’s narrowed his choices from that list down to five.
“They’re all very smart,” Trump said. “There are actually five I’m looking at; it’s down to five. It could be any one of them; they’ll all be great. These are really top people, if you get on that list — I created a list, and Biden should do that too.”
Trump criticized Biden’s potential Supreme Court nominees as all “major radical left players,” saying Biden would upset his base if he appointed a centrist judge instead of a member of the “AOC plus three crowd.”
“He’s got a problem. If he puts somebody on that is not going to be popular with a certain group of people, they will all run away from him like the plague,” Trump said.
Trump declined to reveal who else is under consideration when pressed.
“I’d rather not say, but they’re two fantastic people,” Trump said. “So I’m looking at five, probably four, but I’m looking at five very seriously. I’m going to make a decision on either Friday or Saturday. I will announce it either Friday or Saturday, and then the work begins. But hopefully it won’t be too much work, because these are very qualified people; no matter how you would look at it, these are the finest people in the nation. Young people, pretty young, for the most part.”
Steve Doocy asked the president whether electoral politics is influencing his decision, noting that Lagoa being from Florida may sway Florida voters in November. “Is politics gonna be part of it?” Doocy asked.
“I try not to say so,” Trump replied. “I think, probably, automatically it is, even if you’re not wanting to do that, it becomes a little bit automatic. A great one from Michigan; as you know, Indiana represented very well; we have from all over the country.”
“These are the smartest people. These are the smartest young people. You know, you like to go young, because they’re there for a long time,” Trump said.
“You could have somebody be on the bench for 40 or 50 years, you know, these are big decisions,” he continued.
“We’re looking for somebody who is brilliant, really understands the law and abides by the Constitution, and a good person. We’re looking for a good person, a person who’s really been somebody that has very, very high moral values,” Trump said.
After news of Ginsburg’s passing on Friday, Democrats called on the president and the GOP majority in the Senate to refrain from nominating a judge to fill the Supreme Court vacancy until after the election, when a new president might be installed in office next year.
The Republicans intend to move forward with a nomination with no regard to complaints from Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared Friday that Trump’s nominee “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
Two Republicans, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are opposed to moving forward with a Supreme Court confirmation before the election. The GOP holds a 53-seat majority in the Senate. If two more GOP senators join Murkowski and Collins in opposition, then Trump’s nominee, whoever he or she is, will have difficultly getting confirmed.
The president called on all Republicans to consider a nominee “without delay.”
.@GOP We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2020