President Donald Trump’s supporters started chanting “fill that seat” during his rally in North Carolina on Saturday, roughly a day after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, leaving a vacant court seat.
Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have confirmed their intentions to fill the seat before Election Day on November 3. Democrats have criticized the move, saying the Senate should wait on confirming a replacement until after the election. Trump confirmed in North Carolina that his nominee will be a woman, saying earlier that he will announce a name next week.
“There have been 29 times a vacancy opened during an election year or prior to an inauguration. Twenty-nine times, that’s a lot,” Trump said. “Every single time, the sitting president made a nomination. That included, did you ever hear of George Washington? Did you ever hear of Thomas Jefferson? Or how about the great Abraham Lincoln?”
Crowd in North Carolina chants: “FILL THAT SEAT!” pic.twitter.com/RuOI6vpK9u
— Team Trump (Text VOTE to 88022) (@TeamTrump) September 19, 2020
Trump’s top picks for the nomination are 7th Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 11th Circuit Court Judge Barbara Lagoa and 4th Circuit Court Judge Allison Rushing. (RELATED: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dead At 87)
“From a constitutional standpoint, I think it’s the greatest list ever assembled,” Trump said of his nominee shortlist. “I think we’ll have a very popular choice whoever that may be.”
McConnell and Republicans have a 53-47 majority in the Senate, meaning four Republicans must break ranks to prevent Trump’s nominee from going through. If only three break ranks, the 50-50 tie would be decided by Vice President Mike Pence.
So far Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Maine Sen. Susan Collins have confirmed they will not support filling Ginsburg’s seat before the election, though it is unclear whether they would vote against the nominee outright or simply abstain.