US President Donald Trump has vowed to put forward a female nominee to fill the supreme court vacancy created by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, pushing the Republican-controlled Senate to consider the pick without delay.
Taking the stage at a North Carolina rally to chants of “Fill that seat”, the president said he would nominate his selection despite Democrats’ objections with the election week away.
“I will be putting forth a nominee next week. It will be a woman,” Trump said. “I think it should be a woman because I actually like women much more than men.”
He added that he did not yet know whom he would choose.
“We win an election and those are the consequences,” said the president, who then seemed to signal that he’d be willing to accept a vote on his nominee during the lame duck period after the election. “We have a lot of time. We have plenty of time. We’re talking about 20 January.”
He praised Ginsburg as a “legal giant … Her landmark rulings, fierce devotion to justice and her courageous battle against cancer inspire all Americans.”
One Republican senator has already broken ranks, with Maine’s Susan Collins, who is in a tough re-election battle, saying on Saturday that she believed replacing Ginsburg should be the decision of the president who is elected 3 November.
Three more defections from the GOP ranks would be needed to stop Trump’s nominee from joining the apex court.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said any selection should come after 3 November.
“Voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice to consider,” Biden said.