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Media signatureHundreds of people attended the US Supreme Court to pay their respects to the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg
US President Donald Trump said he would nominate his candidate for Justice to the Supreme Court by the end of the week and urged the Republican-controlled Senate to confirm his election before the presidential election.
The plan started a high stakes battle ahead of the November 3rd vote.
Mr Trump wants to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Liberal worker who died on Friday at the age of 87, with a Conservative.
He seems to have secured enough support in the Senate.
This would cement a right-wing majority in the US highest court, where judges serve for life or until retirement.
The ideological balance of the nine-member court is critical to its decisions on key US law issues. In recent years, decisions have been made about immigration, carbon emissions and gay marriage.
Democrats have criticized Mr. Trump’s plan, and presidential candidate Joe Biden called it an “abuse of power”.
Meanwhile, Ms. Ginsburg will become the first woman in history to be in the U.S. Capitol in the state later this week. After her death from cancer, people across the country pay tribute to the prominent feminist who served at court for 27 years.
What happens next to the nomination?
On Monday, Trump said he was “constitutionally obliged” to nominate someone to the Supreme Court.
“We’re looking at five incredible female lawyers … women who are exceptional in every way. I mean, honestly, it could be any of them and we’ll announce it on Friday or Saturday,” he told followers at a rally in Ohio.
The president previously had a private meeting at the White House with prospective candidate Amy Coney Barrett, an appeals court judge supported by anti-abortion conservatives.
Once the President has nominated a candidate, it is up to the Senate to vote on whether or not to confirm him. The Judiciary Committee will first review the selection and then vote to get the candidate to speak for the full vote.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to hold a confirmatory vote before the November election. Democrats have accused him of hypocrisy.
Following the death of Conservative Attorney General Anthony Scalia in 2016, McConnell refused to hold a vote to endorse a candidate proposed by then-President Barack Obama, a Democrat.
Mitch McConnell has promised a Senate vote on the candidate
Mr Obama had nominated Merrick Garland in February of this year – months before the election – but Mr McConnell argued that Supreme Court justices should not be approved in an election year.
This time around, however, with a president of the same party, the Senate chairman says, since the Senate and White House are both held by Republicans, unlike 2016, the nomination should continue.
Do the Senate Republicans have the vote?
Supreme Court candidates used to take 60 Senate votes to be approved. But in 2017, Mr McConnell held a vote to change the rules so the candidates would need a simple majority of 51 votes in the 100-seat Senate. This enabled Senate Republicans to get Mr. Trump’s candidate Neil Gorsuch confirmed.
Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority in the upper chamber.
The president’s plan to appoint a judiciary was reinforced Monday after two closely watched senators from his party, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Charles Grassley of Iowa, signaled that they would step down.
Your support can give Republicans the 50 votes they need to affirm a justice, as Vice President Mike Pence can cast a groundbreaking vote if necessary.
Lindsey Graham, the powerful Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Monday he would “lead the indictment to ensure that President Trump’s candidate has a hearing”. [and] goes to vote in the United States Senate “.
Mitt Romney from Utah remains undecided. Susan Collins from Maine and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska advocated a delay in voting.
Ms. Collins said she had “no objection” to the candidate review process that begins now, but she doesn’t believe the Senate should vote on the candidate before the November election. Ms. Collins faces a difficult re-election offer this year.
Ms. Murkowski said she “did not support the inclusion of a nomination eight months before the 2016 elections” and believed that now “the same standard must apply”.
Even if Republicans lose their Senate majority on November 3, the new Congress will not take office until January 3, which would give the existing senators time to confirm the election of Mr. Trump.
If the candidate is not confirmed by January 20, the day of the inauguration, they would have to be re-nominated by the president (whoever that is).
Fight for the Supreme Court
How long does it take to confirm a Supreme Court judge?
Usually the process from selection to confirmation takes a month – but there are no rules for this period.
Since 1975 it has taken an average of about 70 days. This time the elections are only a few weeks away.
The last time lawmakers filled out a confirmation so quickly was in 1993 for Ginsburg’s own selection. It was approved in 42 days.
- Obituary: Ruth Bader Ginsburg
What is at stake?
The US Supreme Court often has the final say on highly controversial laws, disputes between states and the federal government, and final appeals to suspend executions.
In recent years, the court has extended gay marriage to all 50 states, upheld President Trump’s travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries, and delayed a U.S. plan to reduce carbon emissions while appeals were being launched.
The court also deals with reproductive rights issues like abortion – a highly controversial electoral issue, especially for one of Trump’s key Republican constituencies. Opponents of abortion have called for abortion protection to be lifted, and the appointment of judges who approve of that view is one of the reasons for Mr Trump’s re-election.
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Media signatureRuth Bader Ginsburg’s granddaughter says the lawyer didn’t want to be replaced under President Trump
Clara Spera, Ginsburg’s granddaughter, announced that the wish of the deceased judiciary should only be replaced after the election. “She was concerned about this country and about the dish she has served so diligently for over 27 years,” Ms. Spera told BBC World Service.
“I think she would be encouraged to know that there are many, many people who believe that we need to return to order and norms in order to consent and grant their deepest desire,” she said.
Ginsburg will be located at the US Capitol in the state on Friday.
What’s the reaction
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful Democrat in Washington, suggested that the confirmation be used to influence what happens next.
Ms. Pelosi told the New York Times she had “arrows in” [her] Quiver, in the house quiver “would not offer more details.
On Sunday, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Mr. Trump had “made it clear that power is at stake, plain and simple”.
He urged the Senate Republicans to “please follow your conscience, let the people speak, [and] cool the flames that have engulfed our land “.
During a vigil for Ginsburg on Sunday night, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren drew the crowd for criticizing Republicans for the nomination.
“Mitch McConnell and his henchmen believe they can ram through a Supreme Court Justice just 45 days after election day,” she said. “What Mitch McConnell doesn’t understand is that this fight has only just begun.”
Who is considered the top contender?
- Amy Coney Barrett: A member of the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, she is a favorite of religious conservatives and known for her anti-abortion views. She was a law scholar at Notre Dame Law School in Indiana
- Barbara Lagoa: A Cuban American on the Atlanta-based 11th Court of Appeals, she was the first Hispanic female judge on the Florida Supreme Court. She is a former federal prosecutor
- Kate Comerford Todd: The White House Assistant Attorney has a lot of support in the White House. Served as the former Senior VP and Chief Counsel of the US Chamber Litigation Center