If a vacancy on the Supreme Court opened up before the election in November, President Donald Trump says he would move quickly to fill the post.
On Tuesday, radio how Hugh Hewitt asked the president, “In the last five months of this term, for the last five months of your second term, if you get one, would you make a nomination to fill a vacancy that occurred on the Supreme Court?”
“Absolutely, I’d do it. Sure. It depends,” Trump responded.
When asked if he had any candidates for a Supreme Court nomination in mind, Trump said, “You know, I don’t know what you’re talking about, time, but if you’re talking about if something would happen now, no, I would move quickly. Why not? I mean, they would. The Democrats would if they were in this position.”
Trump proceeded to tout the record-setting pace with which he has worked with Senate Republicans to fill federal judicial vacancies around the country.
However, he did not directly answer the question of whether he had a potential nominee in mind.
Hewitt asked again, “If there is a vacancy this year or early next year or anytime in your second term, do you have a choice already in mind to nominate?”
“I do. I have somebody that I think would be excellent,” Trump said.
When Hewitt asked if Trump would disclose who he had in mind, the president said, “I can’t name who, but I have somebody that I think would be really well-received, would be excellent, highly-respected. I mean, that’s subject to change, but somebody that really would be, I think, I think great.”
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However, Congressional Democrats — citing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) previous decision to block former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee due to the upcoming 2016 election — have warned Republicans against pushing through a Supreme Court nominee before the 2020 election.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told NBC News earlier this month, “We knew basically [Republicans] were lying in 2016, when they said, ‘Oh, we can’t do this because it’s an election year.’ We knew they didn’t want to do it because it was President Obama.”
“If they show that they’re unwilling to respect precedent, rules, and history, then they can’t feign surprise when others talk about using a statutory option that we have that’s fully constitutional in our availability,” he said.
Kaine added, “I don’t want to do that. But if they act in such a way, they may push it to an inevitability. So they need to be careful about that.”