President Donald Trump yesterday prepared to push ahead with plans for his third US Supreme Court nomination, which would cement a 6-3 conservative majority, as some Republicans wavered on whether to support the move weeks ahead of an election.
The death of liberal icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg upended the campaign season, giving Trump and his party an opportunity to strengthen its grip on the court whose decisions influence most spheres of American life, from healthcare to gun rights to voting access.
Trump and top Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also gained a chance to steer the national discussion away from the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed almost 200,000 Americans and thrown millions out of work.
Democrats accused McConnell of hypocrisy for being eager to usher a Trump nominee to a confirmation vote. In February 2016, he refused to hold a vote for a nominee of Democratic President Barack Obama following the death of conservative Antonin Scalia, saying it would be inappropriate in an election year.
Trump said in an interview with Fox News yesterday that he wanted to wait until Friday or Saturday to announce his nominee out of respect for Ginsburg.
He said a vote on his Supreme Court nominee should come before the November 3 election.
"The final vote should be taken frankly before the election. We have plenty of time for that."
Trump's rival Biden said in his remarks on Sunday that Trump's effort to push a nomination through the Senate just weeks ahead of the election amounted to "an abuse of political power."