Any doubts about whether President Donald Trump will nominate a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are now gone.
President Trump made it clear on Saturday that he will put forth a nominee, and soon. He also promised that the nominee will be a woman — likely either Judge Amy Coney Barrett or Judge Barbara Lagoa.
The president’s initial reaction to Ginsburg’s death was one of surprise.
“Wow. I didn’t know that. I just — you’re telling me now for the first time,” he told reporters on Friday. “She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman. Whether you agree or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life. I’m actually sad to hear that. I am sad to hear that.”
At that time, Trump refrained from indicating whether or not he would name a replacement. But, on Saturday, he made it clear that he would.
“We have an obligation as the winners to pick who we want,” Trump told reporters. “That’s not the next president — hopefully I’ll be the next president. Right now we’re here. We have an obligation to the voters, all of the people, the millions of people that put us here in the form of a victory.”
It’s the right thing to do
On Saturday morning, Trump defended his decision to move forward with a replacement, in the face of the Democrats’ partisan objections that it’s too close to the election.
In a tweet aimed at Republican senators, President Trump declared that it was their “obligation” to nominate and confirm Ginsburg’s replacement.
“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,” Trump wrote. “We have this obligation, without delay!”
Who will it be?
Now that it is clear that President Trump will nominate a replacement, talk has turned to who that replacement might be. Trump narrowed it down somewhat on Saturday, telling the crowd at a North Carolina rally, “It will be a woman — a very talented, very brilliant woman.”
With this and other clues, two frontrunners have emerged: Judges Barbara Lagoa of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and Amy Coney Barrett of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Trump commented on Lagoa on Saturday, saying, “She’s an extraordinary person, I’ve heard incredible things about her.”
The president is expected to name his nominee this upcoming week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has promised to put Trump’s nominee up for a confirmation vote in the Senate, despite Democrat objections.