With less than two months to go before the US election, galvanized Democrats are pushing back furiously on Trump’s desire to ‘to move quickly’ on the nomination process
US President Donald Trump on Saturday said he would nominate a woman to succeed late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The president’s desire to “to move quickly” on the process, despite Democrats’ vehement opposition, is likely to dominate the campaigns – alongside other hot-button issues such as the coronavirus and America’s ongoing racial reckoning – ahead of the November 3 election.
“I think it’s going to move quickly actually,” Trump told reporters outside the White House Saturday, adding that he thought his choice would be made “next week.”
Addressing a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina later that day, he took an impromptu poll from the crowd, asking them to cheer for either a woman or a man to be his pick. The crowd cheered considerably louder for the former.
“That’s a very accurate poll because that’s the way I feel. It will be a woman. A very talented, very brilliant woman, who I haven’t chosen yet – but we have numerous women on the list.”
The 87-year-old Ginsburg, immensely popular among Democrats, died Friday after a long battle with cancer.
The stakes are high as the decision could affect such weighty issues as abortion, healthcare, gun control and gay rights.
They are pushed even higher in a bitter election year when the justices can play a decisive role in legal wrangling over a contested result – such as when they ruled in George W. Bush’s favor to end the 2000 election debacle.
Trump has already named two justices during his term as president, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, giving conservatives a 5-4 majority before Ginsburg’s death, though that does not guarantee rulings in Trump’s favor – there have been several recent examples of conservatives siding with their progressive colleagues.
Trump, who is lagging in the polls behind Democratic opponent Joe Biden, has another powerful incentive to move ahead: providing a jolt of enthusiasm among his anti-abortion and evangelical supporters.
But, with 45 days to go before the election and early voting already begun in some states, galvanized Democrats are pushing back furiously.
Biden said Friday that “the voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider.”
‘Nothing is off the table’
While Democrats’ options seem limited, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer told party members Saturday that if Republicans press ahead, then “nothing is off the table,” according to media reports.
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“This vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” Schumer said Friday, carefully echoing the words of Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell in 2016 when he blocked Obama nominee Merrick Garland.
Republicans in theory have the Senate votes to push through a Trump nominee, but could be blocked by only a handful of defections.
Republican Senator Susan Collins became the first to break ranks when she announced Saturday she would not support a vote on any Trump nominee before the election.
The Maine lawmaker is among a handful of moderate Republican senators – including Lisa Murkowski of Alaska ≠ who have already expressed doubts about a rushed vote.
“I totally disagree with her,” Trump said of Collins’ stance, referring to his 2016 election in adding that “we have an obligation as the winners to pick who we want.”
One prominent Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will oversee the confirmation hearings, is none other than Senator Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate.
Trump has already named scores of conservatives as federal judges, and Democrats fear a deep and lasting shift in balance at the Supreme Court.
“If he’s allowed to put more conservatives in, this is going to be disastrous for the next 40 to 50 years,” Gloria Browne-Marshall, a civil rights attorney, said on CNN.
Analysts predicted Democrats would do their best to drag out the process while fanning public outrage.
“Their option is to build a groundswell… to try to convince at least 4 Republican senators to vote ‘no’ on whoever the president puts forward,” Amy Howe, co-founder of a Supreme Court blog, said on CNN.
Trump’s attacks on voting ‘backfired and only inspired people to march early to the polls’: report
Clark County Registrar of Voters Joseph Gloria has had three decades of election experience in Nevada, but had never seen a "perfect storm," as he called it, like this before. With all hands on deck for this election cycle, Gloria helped put together an entire mail-in voting system in less than 90 days to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m as comfortable as I can be because I have an excellent staff,” Gloria said. “We learned some things in the primary and are feeling good about this cycle, but unfortunately we have people at the national level who are encouraging people to do things that disrupt the polling place and make it a challenge for us to process votes.”
Watch Kamala Harris laugh out loud when 60 Minutes asks her if Trump is racist
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) laughed when asked if President Donald Trump was racist during a 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday evening on CBS.
"Do you think the president is racist?" Nora O'Donnell asked.
"Yes, I do," Harris replied, with a laugh. "Yeah, I do."
"You can look at a pattern that goes back to him questioning the identity of the first Black president of the United States," she said, referring to the racist "birther" conspiracy theory he pushed against Barack Obama.
"You can look at Charlottesville, when there were peaceful protesters and on the other side neo-Nazis and he talks about fine people on either side," she continued. "Calling Mexicans rapists and criminals? His first order of business was to institute a Muslim ban?"
Lesley Stahl takes Trump to task for still not having a health care plan as 60 Minutes airs interview
CBS News' Lesley Stahl took heat from President Donald J. Trump for asking him "tough questions" during their interview for 60 Minutes and the train wreck will air Sunday night in primetime.
But in the meantime, there's this:
Lesley Stahl: But you're okay with some tough questions?
President Donald Trump: No, I'm not. I mean--
Lesley Stahl: (LAUGH) You're not okay with tough questions?