Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 27 October 2020

Trump says Senate must consider Ginsburg replacement ‘without delay’

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says her replacement must wait until after the November election

US President Donald Trump urged the Senate to consider “without delay” his nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, only six weeks before the country's presidential election.

Ginsburg died on Friday at her home in Washington after complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.

Mr Trump’s Democratic rival in the election, Joe Biden, said her replacement must wait until after the November vote.

Democrats fear that the death Ginsberg, a major liberal voice in the US justice system, will lead to Mr Trump nominating a right-wing candidate, which would shift the ideological balance of the nine-member court for a generation.

They believe that would have wide-ranging implications for the fate of issues such as abortion, environmental regulations and health care.

In 2016, Senate Republicans blocked Democratic President Barack Obama's pick for the top US court. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell justified the move on the grounds that it was an election year.

But on Friday, Mr McConnell said he would act on any nomination Mr Trump made.

On Saturday, Mr Trump said his Supreme Court nominee would probably be a woman, he would make the nomination next week and he would prefer a vote before the election.

On Saturday, Democrats raised more than $50 million (Dh183.6m) in the hours after Ginsburg’s death, demonstrating how her passing and the contentious nomination fight that lies ahead have already galvanised the party’s base.

The money was raised by 4pm on Saturday after news of her death broke late Friday, according to a donation ticker on the website of ActBlue, the party’s online fund-raising platform.

The election campaign had already delivered record fundraising totals for the Democrats, a sign of the motivation within the party to rebuke Mr Trump on election day.

But Ginsburg’s death brought new impetus to the campaign, particularly after Mr Trump and Mr McConnell pledged to move forward with finding a replacement.

Although ActBlue has not yet disclosed who the biggest recipients were, Democratic challengers to Republican senators were in line to benefit from the influx of cash.

A group of Democratic strategists raising money through an effort called Get Mitch or Die Trying, which shares donations among Democratic Senate contenders, reported that within hours of Ginsburg’s death they more than doubled what they had previously raised.

“In tribute to the extraordinary life of Justice Ginsberg, I’m matching donations to this fund up to $10,000 tonight,” Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff tweeted.

Updated: September 20, 2020 08:03 PM

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