Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death Friday has created an opportunity for President Donald Trump to appoint his third Supreme Court justice prior to the November election.
While Trump has said he is determined to fill Ginsburg’s vacancy as quickly as possible, Democrats are diametrically opposed to doing so with the election roughly six weeks away.
What Happened? On Saturday, Trump addressed the Supreme Court vacancy via Twitter.
“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!” Trump wrote.
In a Fox interview Monday morning, Trump said he anticipates announcing a nominee on Friday or Saturday of this week.
More than one week before Ginsburg’s death, Trump unveiled a list of potential Supreme Court nominees that included men such as Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas
On Saturday, Trump said that Ginsburg’s replacement will be a woman.
According to PredictIt, Seventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett is the leading candidate for the position. Eleventh Circuit Court Judge Barbara Lagoa is the second top choice.
The PredictIt market says there is a 94% chance Trump chooses either Barrett or Lagoa as his nominee.
What’s Next: Republicans need a simple majority vote in the Senate to confirm a nominee.
Given that Vice President Mike Pence is the tie-breaking vote, that means Trump’s nominee will need 50 Senate votes to be confirmed. There are 53 Republican senators, but Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Maine Sen. Susan Collins have both publicly stated their opposition to the idea of filling Ginsburg’s seat prior to the election.
The Republican-controlled Senate refused to vote on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee in 2016 given that the presidential election was eight months away.
In a statement, Murkowski said it would now be hypocritical for Republicans to rush a confirmation in 2020 with the election less than two months away.
House Democrats also have extreme measures they can potentially take to fight the appointment.
On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not rule out a possible second impeachment of Trump during the lame duck session to delay the confirmation process should Joe Biden win the election.
Benzinga’s Take: The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY traded lower by 1.2% on Monday, which isn’t surprising given how averse investors are to uncertainty in Washington, D.C.
Attention will now shift to moderate Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who was the only Republican senator to vote in favor of Trump’s impeachment earlier this year.
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