After Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on Friday evening, it was widely reported that her final wish had been that no replacement be named to fill her vacant seat until after the election. President Donald Trump responded to this wish on Monday, questioning if it actually came from Ginsburg herself.
“Well, I don’t know that she said that, or was that written out by [Rep.] Adam Schiff and Schumer and Pelosi?” Trump asked during a Fox News interview. “I would be more inclined to the second.”
Trump was referring to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
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“That sounds like a Schumer deal, or maybe a Pelosi or Schifty Schiff that came out of the wind. Let’s see, I mean, maybe she did, maybe she didn’t,” Trump added. “Look, the bottom line is, we won the election. We have an obligation to do what is right and act as quickly as possible, we should act quickly because we’re going to have probably election things involved here.”
The president went on to say that his concerns over “fake ballots” in November make it especially important that the Supreme Court not be split in a 4-4 vote.
“We don’t want to have a tie, no we don’t, and we want to have nine justices, and we want to have somebody with a lot of talent,” Trump said of who he was considering to replace Ginsburg.
Immediately after Ginsburg died on Friday at the age of 87, NPR published a statement reportedly given by Ginsburg to her granddaughter Clara Spera that she dictated in the days before her death.
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” Ginsburg allegedly said.
Later in today’s interview, Trump talked about the controversy surrounding Barack Obama’s 2016 Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland, which was not pushed through by the Republican-controlled Senate. Trump blamed this situation on Obama, however, rather than on Garland.
“So I think Merrick Garland is an outstanding judge; I think he’s outstanding and I think he’s of outstanding intellect. He is liberal, that’s okay, but the only problem was — and this is up to the Senate — the only problem was President Obama did not have the Senate. I mean, I could go a step further, President Obama didn’t get a lot of judges,” Trump said. “That was an election of a different kind, we have the Senate.”
The president added that he is eager for the confirmation process to take place before the election on November 3, arguing that the last thing America needs is another negative experience during these trying times.
“I think [doing so] would be good for the Republican Party, and I think it would be good for everybody to get it over with because it’s always controversial,” Trump said. “And no matter who I pick, no matter how great the intellect, how brilliant the person … the Democrats will say, ‘This is terrible, this is terrible.'”