President Donald Trump said he’ll name a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday or Saturday and that he wants the new justice confirmed before the November election.
Trump said in an interview he’s considering four or five women to replace Ginsburg, a liberal icon who died Friday at 87. The prospect of the Republican president replacing her has outraged and energized Trump’s opponents.
“I’m looking at five, probably four but I’m looking at five very seriously,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News early Monday.
Trump said he wanted to wait until services for Ginsburg are concluded before naming her replacement.
Two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said over the weekend that the winner of the November election should choose Ginsburg’s replacement. Trump has rejected waiting.
“I think she’ll be really hurt badly in two years and I think Susan Collins is going to be hurt very badly,” Trump said Monday of the two senators. Collins trails in her own re-election contest this year, according to polls.
Trump’s intention to choose a successor to Ginsburg and send that name to the Republicancontrolled Senate so close to the Nov. 3 election has sparked an outcry from Democrats, including Trump’s opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Appeals court judges Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa are emerging as the most likely to be picked after Trump said Saturday at a rally in North Carolina that he planned to select a woman.
All of the women he’s considering are “pretty young for the most part,” Trump said Monday. “A great one from Michigan is on the list,” he said. He didn’t name any of them, but complimented Lagoa.
“She’s excellent, she’s Hispanic, she’s a terrific woman from everything I know. I don’t know her. Florida, we love Florida,” Trump said, a nod at the possible electoral advantage for the president in must-win Florida in must-win Florida.
White House Press Secretary Kaleigh McEnany said Monday in an interview with Fox Business that Trump could announce his nominee as soon as Tuesday.
“He wants someone in the ilk of Justice Thomas and Justice Alito and the other great justices Trump has appointed, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh,” McEnany said. “He wants a constitutionalist, a textualist, and originalist.”