Would President Trump Fill A Vacant SCOTUS Seat Before 2020 Election? Almost Certainly

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump’s administration has signaled it would be willing to fill a Supreme Court vacancy before the 2020 Election on November 3 should a seat be available.

A potential SCOTUS nomination has crept in as a 2020 election issue following revelations that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been receiving chemotherapy treatment for a fifth bout with cancer since May.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed in February that he would fill a vacancy, and Trump’s White House has echoed that sentiment, according to the Associated Press.

“I can’t imagine that if he had a vacancy on the Supreme Court that he would not very quickly make the appointment and look for the Senate to take quick action,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Wednesday. (RELATED: Supreme Court Odd Couple Push For Civility, Civic Education As Election Nears)

Should a seat open, the situation would be very similar to President Barack Obama’s attempt to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat prior to the 2016 election. McConnell blocked Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland at the time, arguing the nomination should wait until after the presidential election.

Unlike Republicans in 2016, Senate Democrats are not in a position to block a Trump nomination, assuming Republicans remain lock-step in their attempt.

Trump announced in June that he would release a new list of potential conservative SCOTUS nominees.

Trump’s announcement came soon after a pair of SCOTUS decisions that were seen as blows to conservative social and fiscal policies. The court found that LGBT Americans enjoy workplace protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and that Trump had overstepped his authority in attempting to end the DACA immigration program by executive order.

The White House has not announced any names from the list, but it will likely be similar to the one Trump released and updated throughout his campaign and into his early presidency.