Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:1
Trump Wants to Move ‘without Delay’ to Replace Ginsburg, Setting Up Epic Supreme Court Fight Before Election
TEHRAN (FNA)- President Donald Trump on Saturday said he wants to move “without delay” to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a conservative nominee, setting up an epic battle over the balance of power on the nation’s highest judicial body and the shape of American law for a generation to come as the country enters the final phase of the 2020 presidential campaign.

Trump, in a social media post, wrote that Republicans “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!”, CNBC reported.

The president’s statement follows Ginsburg’s death on Friday evening. 

Trump is expected to quickly name a conservative replacement. Only an hour after the Supreme Court announced Ginsburg’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday pledged he will hold a vote on Trump’s eventual nominee to fill the vacancy. McConnell said last year he would seek to confirm a Trump nominee if a vacancy opened, despite vowing during President Barack Obama’s presidency to refuse any appointments during an election year. 

Trump told reporters Saturday he will choose his nominee next week, and the candidate will likely be a woman. 

Ginsburg’s death has set up a contentious political battle that could define the makeup of the nation’s highest judicial body for decades, providing Trump an opportunity to place a third member on the Court just weeks before the November election.  

The Supreme Court had a 5-4 majority of Republican appointed justices, and a 6-3 GOP majority could transform the shape of the law and maintain a conservative majority for years.

The now vacant seat on the court also raises the stakes in an already chaotic presidential campaign between Trump and former Vice President Joseph Biden, which has been defined by the worst public health crisis in a century, the deepest economic recession since the Great Depression and widespread social unrest over racial inequality and policing in America. 

Ginsburg, a feminist icon who championed women’s rights, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 and vowed to remain as long as her health allowed. Ginsburg told her granddaughter before she died that her “most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed”. 

Trump has touted his previous nominees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, as major accomplishments of his first term as president. The president last week issued a new list of 20 potential Supreme Court picks, a strategy he employed during his 2016 campaign.

Conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 48, of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago has emerged as a front-runner to fill the seat, three sources told NBC News. Barrett was under consideration in 2018 before Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh.

Allison Rushing, 38, of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia is also being considered for the nomination, as well as Barbara Lagoa, 52, of the 11th Circuit in Georgia and Amul Thapar, 51, of the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, NBC News reports. 

The timing of a floor vote to pick a nominee is unclear. It takes on average roughly 70 days from the date of nomination to a confirmation vote, according to the Congressional Research Service. Senate Republicans hold a 53-seat majority, so the party can only have three defections, assuming that all Senate Democrats vote against Trump’s eventual nominee. 

Biden, who has served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated on Friday night that the vacancy should not be filled until after the November election and noted that Senate Republicans didn’t consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland during the Obama presidency. 

“There is no doubt — let me be clear — that the voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider,” Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, adding, “This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That’s the position the United States Senate must take today.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, noted that “under no circumstances” should the Senate fill the vacancy until after the presidential inauguration. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also said that voters should have a say in selecting the next Supreme Court justice and the vacancy shouldn’t be filled until there’s a new president. 

“Senator McConnell made his position clear in 2016 when he held Justice Scalia’s seat vacant for 10 months so he could deny President Obama an appointment – a goal he himself admitted,” Feinstein announced in a statement, adding, “To jam through a lifetime appointment to the country’s highest court – particularly to replace an icon like Justice Ginsburg – would be the height of hypocrisy.”

Schumer laid out the stakes to Senate Democrats on a conference call Saturday, suggesting they could take controversial moves to end the filibuster and pack the court if Trump’s nominee is seated and they sweep the election. 

“Everything Americans value is at stake. Health care, protections for pre-existing conditions, women’s rights, gay rights, workers’ rights, labor rights, voting rights, civil rights, climate change and so much else is at risk,” Schumer said, according to a source on the call.  

“Let me be clear: if Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year,” Schumer stated, adding, “Nothing is off the table.”

McConnell urged Senate Republicans on Friday night to “be cautious and keep your powder dry,” according to the letter obtained by NBC News.

“Over the coming days, we are all going to come under tremendous pressure from the press to announce how we will handle the coming nomination. For those of you who are unsure how to answer, or for those inclined to oppose giving a nominee a vote, I urge you all to keep your powder dry,” McConnell wrote, noting, “This is not the time to prematurely lock yourselves into a position you may later regret.” 

Attention is now directed at some of the more moderate Senate Republicans who could potentially oppose a nomination. Members who could possibly defect include Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah.

Collins said Saturday she opposes voting on a new justice before the election. 

“In order for the American people to have faith in their elected officials, we must act fairly and consistently -- no matter which political party is in power,” Collins added.

“In fairness to the American people, who will either be re-electing the President or selecting a new one, the decision on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the President who is elected on November 3rd,” she stated. 

People are also eyeing a key special Senate race in Arizona between Democrat Mark Kelly and Republican Senator Martha McSally, since Kelly could potentially be sworn into office early enough to vote on the nominee, thus narrowing the GOP’s current 53-to-47 majority. A recent poll by Monmouth University showed Kelly with a lead of 50-46% among likely voters and a New York Times/Sienna College poll showed Kelly leading 50-42%. 





Bottom top
‘Washington Has No Idea About Who It Deals with': Erdogan Brushes Off US Criticism over S-400

TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that Ankara does not intend to abandon the S-400 missile systems purchased from Russia.
‘Rigged Election?’ Trump Seizes on Biden's Latest Gaffe, Boasting About 'Most Extensive, Inclusive VOTER FRAUD' Organization

TEHRAN (FNA)- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's remark that his party has created “the most extensive voter fraud organization” has reinforced the former VP’s “gaffe-machine” status, giving the Republicans a free gotcha moment.
Iran Reports 6,191 New COVID-19 Cases

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian health ministry announced on Sunday that 6,191 new cases of coronavirus infection have been reported across the country during the past 24 hours, adding that 296 patients have passed away in the same period of time.
GC Spokesman: Iran Not Interested in US Presidential Election

TEHRAN (FNA)- Spokesman of Iran’s Guardian Council Abbasali Kadkhodayee underlined that the Islamic Republic is not interested in interfering in the US presidential election, and blasted the media hype by the West in this regard.
Pakistan PM: French President Encouraged Islamophobia

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Pakistani prime minster added his voice to the growing criticism of the French president for "encouraging Islamophobia" following the killing of a teacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) to his pupils.
Biden Gains as Suburban Women, Elderly Voters Look to Dump Trump

TEHRAN (FNA)- Joe Biden’s hopes of reaching the White House could rest on two crucial demographic groups that appear to be deserting President Donald Trump: elderly people and suburban women.
Iranian Army Conducts Military Drills along Northwestern Borders

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian Army Ground Force units staged a one-day drill along the country's Northwestern border regions on Sunday.
Iran Calls for Broadening of Bilateral Ties with Bolivia

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for the expansion of mutual cooperation with Bolivia in different fields.
Officials: Top al-Qaeda Leader Killed in Eastern Afghanistan

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior al-Qaeda commander has been killed by Afghan security forces in the central city of Ghazni, security officials said.
COVID-19: Italy Reports Highest Single-Day Spike

TEHRAN (FNA)- Italy reported 19,644 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the highest single-day spike since the start of the pandemic.
IRGC Commander Warns against Geopolitical Border Change in Regions Around Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- Islamic Revolution Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said any threat that harms people’s security and calm will receive Iran’s countermeasure, but further warned that his country would not tolerate any change in the geopolitical borders in regions close to Iran.
Palestinian Groups Condemn Macron’s Defense of Anti-Islam Cartoons

TEHRAN (FNA)- Palestinian resistance groups based in the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip have blasted French President Emmanuel Macron for defending offensive cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
Iran Condemns Terrorist Attack in Afghanistan

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh condemned a terrorist attack in Afghanistan, saying that the Afghan students have fallen victim to the ugly violence and unending war they had never chosen.
Iran: Arbitrary Detention of Palestinians by Israel Should Stop

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian Foreign Ministry condemned the Zionist regime’s unjust imprisonment of hundreds of Palestinians, urging the immediate release of hunger striker Maher Al-Akhras.
350kg of Opium Seized in Central Iran in 4 Operations

TEHRAN (FNA)- Police forces of the Central Province of Yazd confiscated 350 kg of illegal drugs in four separate operations, according to the local police commander Brigadier General Abbas Ali Behdani Fard.