According to The Washington Times, President Donald Trump will be picking from a list of more than 40 names to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday night of metastatic pancreatic cancer at age 87.
President Trump had released a new list of 20 potential nominees, comprised mostly of senators and lower court judges, just weeks before Ginsburg’s death, the Times reported. Trump’s first list of possible SCOTUS picks, which he reportedly chose from when nominating current sitting Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, was released before he was elected in 2016.
The names on Trump’s lists range in age from 34 to 56, meaning whoever he nominates for the job — which comes with lifetime tenure — could influence decades of decisions by the high court, The Washington Times notes.
Trump pushes forward
According to The Hill, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett has long been considered a top choice of Trump during his previous nominations, and many feel that she could be his pick to replace Ginsburg, who had been one of three liberal female judges on the court.
Speaking Saturday, President Trump vowed he would nominate a woman to fill the seat.
“I will be putting forth a nominee next week. It will be a woman,” Trump said at a campaign rally in North Carolina, the BBC reported. “I think it should be a woman because I actually like women much more than men.”
According to The Washington Times, other women on Trump’s lists include Judge Bridget Bade of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Martha Pacold of the Northern District of Illinois, Judge Sarah Pitlyk of the Eastern District of Missouri, Judge Allison Jones Rushing of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and deputy White House Counsel Kate Todd.
If a woman is confirmed, she would be the only female conservative on the nation’s highest court. The first woman ever to sit on the high court, Ronald Reagan appointee Sandra Day O’Connor, was a moderate and often considered a swing vote.
Democrats push back
Democrats have called on Trump to wait until after November’s election and let the “new president” fill Ginsburg’s seat, but Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have both indicated that they will take advantage of the current Republican Senate majority and move forward with a nomination now, The New York Times reports.
While Democrats talk about fairness after using every dirty trick in the book to try to get rid of Trump during his first term, Republicans have expressed concerns that if they don’t fill the empty seat, it could lead to a constitutional crisis, particularly during a contentious election year where the Supreme Court could be called on to make crucial decisions that could have a part in deciding the election.
As the court stands now, any decision could end in a tie and leave the government scrambling for a ruling that could make or break the election.
Left-wing activists have threatened riots if Trump and Congress move to replace Ginsburg before the election, according to Fox News — but given that they are already rioting over alleged police brutality, it’s hard to imagine their threats will have much impact on leaders in Washington.