Sources describe the list of potential nominees as very few and including at least one woman. American circuit judge Amy Connie Barrett is seen as a major contender, two sources tell ABC News.
Trump was asked about Ginsburg’s death after leaving his Friday night campaign rally in Minnesota, saying he was not aware of his passing. The 87-year-old Justice died on Friday after a battle with pancreatic cancer, the court announced.
“Wow. I didn’t know that. I just – now you’re telling me for the first time,” he told reporters. “She lived a wonderful life. What else can you say? She was a wonderful woman. You agree or not, she was a wonderful woman who led a wonderful life. I am really sad to hear that. I hear that I’m sad. That. ”
Sources said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is already in contact with members of the Republican caucus. With Republicans currently holding 53 seats, the Senate simply needs a simple majority to confirm a candidate.
McConnell declined to bring the then President Barack Obama candidate to replace Antonin Scallia in 2016 – Merrick Garland – on the floor for a vote, but said he would not do it this time either.
“In the last midterm election before Justice Scalia’s death in 2016, Americans elected by a Republican Senate majority as we promised to investigate and balance the last days of the second term of a lame-duck president. We kept our promise. 1880 Since, the Senate has no authority. In the year of the presidential election confirmed the Supreme Court candidate for the President of an opposite party, “McConnell said in a statement after Ginsburg’s death.
“In contrast, Americans reclaimed our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 as we promised to work with President Trump and support his outstanding appointments, particularly in the federal judiciary. Once again, We will keep our promise, ”he continued. “President Trump’s candidate will receive one vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
Trump told CNN in March 2016 that he believed the next president – presumably he – should choose the nominee, not Obama.
“I think the next president should pick up, and I think they shouldn’t move forward,” he told “New Day” on March 16, 2016. “And I believe I’m pretty in line with what Republicans are doing. I say that I think the next president should hold an election. We don’t have a very long distance to wait.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, RSC, said that as far as Republicans officially changed procedures in a speech in 2016 and if the Supreme Court case came out in 2020, to play back the video.
“If there is a vacancy in 2016 as a Republican president and in the final year of the first term, you can say that Lindsay Graham said let’s nominate the next president, whoever it may be, and you are against me You can use words and you will be absolutely right, “he said.” We are setting an example here today. “
Obama issued a statement in which both displayed Ginsberg’s qualities, as well as reminding Republicans of his decision in 2016.
“Four and a half years ago, when Republicans refused to hold a hearing or an up-and-down vote on Merrick Garland, he invented the principle that the Senate should not have filled an open seat in the Supreme Court before the new president He was sworn in, “he said in a statement.” A fundamental principle of law – and everyday fairness – is that we apply the rule with consistency, and not based on what is convenient or beneficial at the moment . ”
“The rule of law, the legitimacy of our courts, the basic functioning of our democracy all depend on that basic principle,” he said. “As votes are already being cast in this election, Republican senators are now called upon to implement that standard.
The current Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, was vice president at the time of Garland’s nomination and told reporters in Delaware on Friday that Republicans should stick to what he said in 2016 after returning from campaigning in Minnesota.
“In the coming days, we should focus on the loss of justice, and its lasting legacy. But there is no doubt about it – I should clarify that voters should choose the president, and the president should choose justice for the Senate. Do, “Biden said. The Republican Senate held the position in 2016, when it was about 10 months before the election. The United States Senate should take that position today.
Even if a candidate is put in front, the deadline will be tightened to confirm justice before election day. According to the Congressional Research Service the average number of days from the SCOTUS nomination to the final vote in the Senate is 69.6 days – about 2.3 months.
The presidential election years are precedent for nomination and confirmation in the Supreme Court. This has happened six times since 1900. Judicial Pierce Butler’s office and Franklin D. The most recent nomination in an election year and confirmed in 1940, after Roosevelt nominated Frank Murphy in January 1940; He was confirmed after 12 days.
The latest election year was confirmed in 1916 when Charles Evans Hughes resigned in June and President Woodrow Wilson nominated John Clarke on 14 July. Ten days later he was unanimously confirmed. No one has been able to fill it before after the election.
Given all of this, Garland’s GOP blockade in 2016 was indeed an anomaly, which McConnell now looks forward to keeping that way for a chance.
Swing sensor. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, have recently told the media that they do not believe a vote should be taken. Murkowski told Alaska Public Radio on Friday before Ginsberg’s death that no vote should be taken, while Collins told The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin earlier this month that it was “in October for a seat for justice”. was close.
Trump’s allies have already put the line behind the idea of confirming a replacement. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas told Sean Hannity of Fox News, “I believe the president should nominate him for success in court next week. I think it’s important that the Senate be the successor before Election Day Take it and confirm the successor. ”
Barrett, a former Notre Dame law professor who was previously a clerk for Scalia, was confirmed to the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago in October 2017.
Here is a list of other possible candidates based on ABC News reporting:
Judge joan larson
Larson was confirmed to the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati in October 2017 and previously served on the Michigan Supreme Court. She is a law professor at the University of Michigan, and like Barrett, she also clerked for Scalia.
Judge Amul Thapar
Thapar was confirmed to the 6th Circuit in May 2017 and was the first federal judge in Kentucky before Trump was named to the 6th Circuit.
Judge raymond kethalage
Kethel was confirmed to the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in 2008 after being nominated by President George W. Bush. He Justice Anthony M. Is a former clerk for Kennedy and a former in-house attorney at Ford Motor.
Judge brit grant
It was confirmed last July for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta. He was previously a Georgia Supreme Court justice, a Georgia Solicitor General and a partner in Kirkland & Ellis.
Judge Thomas Hardiman
Hardiman, of the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, was the first of his family to attend college, and helped pay for his Georgetown University law degree by driving a taxi.
He was a top contender for the first two vacancies under President Trump.
Judge neomi rao
Rao, a former clerk of Justice Clarence Thomas, is a Trump appointee who on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, Brett M. Kavanuagh is in possession. She recently wrote an opinion dismissing the order to prosecute Michael Flynn.
ABC News’ Karma Allen, Mark Osborne, Devin Dwyer, Molly Nagle, Will Staykin, Trish Turner and Chris Donovan contributed to this report.