President Donald Trump is boasting on the campaign trail about his reshaping of the federal judiciary as he weighs a chance to fill a third Supreme Court seat following the death of liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Trump was holding rallies in Vandalia and Swanton, Ohio, on Monday. He said the nation was mourning the death of the 87-year-old Ginsburg.
At the same time, he pointed out that more than 200 judges have been appointed to the federal bench during his term.
“Some presidents never get any — they last a long time,” Trump said of Supreme Court appointments. “We’ve had three. It’s blowing their minds.”
Trump says he’s considering five women for the lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court. He said he plans to announce his decision Friday or Saturday. On Monday, reports emerged that he had met at the White House with one, Amy Coney Barrett, who is not only a frontrunner but also a favorite of anti-abortion rights advocates.
She’s also preferred by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to people close to him. And her Midwestern Catholic background could help the president with Rust Belt and Great Lakes voters.
Asked if he would meet with all five of his candidates in person, Trump said: “I don’t know, I doubt it. We’ll meet with a few, probably.” A White House spokesman declined to comment on the president’s Supreme Court candidate meetings.
Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Trump got to appoint Gorsuch in 2017 after McConnell refused in 2016 to hold a hearing on President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace Antonin Scalia, saying it was an election year.
Scalia died 237 days before the 2016 election. Ginsburg died 46 days before the 2020 election.
Democrats are lining up against Trump nominating someone, saying that duty should fall to whoever wins the presidential on Nov. 3, whether it be Trump or onetime Vice President Joe Biden.
They are also hoping to convince enough Republican senators to join the opposition to thwart Trump’s nomination process. Absent success on that front, some Dems say, they’ll look at other options, including looking to again impeach the president, and aiming to expand the court from its current roster of nine seats.
Bloomberg News contributed to this report.
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