WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Monday that he will probably announce his Supreme Court nominee to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday or Saturday.
“I’m going to make a decision on either Friday or Saturday. I will announce it either Friday or Saturday,” Trump said in a phone interview on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.”
Trump said he wants to make the announcement once funeral services for Ginsburg, who died Friday at age 87, are over. He also said he wants the Senate to hold a confirmation vote for the nominee before the Nov. 3 election.
The president said there are “actually five I’m looking at — it’s down to five,” he said about his potential picks. He declined to name them, though he said one of them is 38 years old, which he said could mean the person could be a Supreme Court justice for 50 years. He also appeared to confirm that Judge Barbara Lagoa, of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is among the choices.
“She’s excellent, Hispanic. She’s a terrific woman from everything I know,” Trump said when asked about her. “I don’t know her. … Florida. We love Florida. So very smart — they’re all very smart.”
Asked if politics will be a factor in his final decision, he said, “I try not to say so,” but he said it “probably automatically” becomes one even if that’s not his intention.
“We tend to go young, and I think in almost all cases, you could have somebody be on the bench for 40 or 50 years,” he said. “We’re looking for somebody who’s brilliant, really understands the law and abides by the Constitution, and a good person, we’re looking for a good person.”
Trump suggested that he wants to fill Ginsburg’s vacancy as soon as possible because he anticipates having legal issues surrounding the election and doesn’t want the possibility of a 4-4 Supreme Court ruling if that is the case.
“We have an obligation to do what’s right and act as quickly as possible.” the president said. “We should act quickly because we’re going to have probably election things involved here, you know, because of the fake ballots that they’ll be sending out which is a terrible. … We don’t want to have a tie, no, we don’t. And we want to have nine justices.”
Reacting to the decision by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to oppose a pre-election confirmation vote, Trump said that Collins is “very badly hurt by her statement” in her re-election race. He also suggested that Murkowski’s stance would haunt her in a future race as well.
Asked about Ginsburg’s dying wish, in which she reportedly said she doesn’t want to be replaced until a new presidential is installed, Trump said, “I don’t know that she said that, or was that written out by Adam Schiff, and Schumer and Pelosi? I would be more inclined to the second, okay, you know. It came out of the wind, it sounds so beautiful. But that sounds like a Schumer deal, or maybe a Pelosi or shifty Schiff. So that that came out of the wind.”