Washington, 22 September 2020 (dpa/MIA) – US President Donald Trump says he will announce his nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court by the end of this week.
“I think it’ll be either Friday or Saturday,” Trump told Fox and Friends on Monday.
Trump later confirmed to reporters he was likely going to make the announcement on Saturday and that he might meet with some of the candidates before, saying he was already in contact with several people. The list is down to about five options, he said.
The president has promised to pick a woman for the post.
Ginsburg, who died at age 87, is due to be laid to rest at a private interment service at Arlington National Cemetery next week.
The Supreme Court said that Ginsburg will lie in repose on Wednesday and Thursday in Washington, so that the public would have 24 hours in which to pay their final respects to the justice, who served for nearly three decades on the top judicial body.
Democrats are pushing Trump to hold off on a nomination, saying it is too close to the November election, with early voting already under way.
Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for president, accused the Republicans of an “exercise in raw political power,” should they move ahead with filling the vacancy left by Ginsburg.
“I’d much rather have a vote before the election,” Trump told reporters.
However, Republicans in the Senate may begin considering the nominee before the election but then wait for a confirmation vote until the lame duck session before the new Congress is sworn in January.
Biden has said he would nominate a black woman for the court. No African-American woman has ever served on the country’s top judicial body.
Mourners have been gathering outside the court building in Washington since Friday night when Ginsburg’s death was announced. She had battled cancer for years but remained active as a judge throughout.