Trump Says He’d Fill Supreme Court Vacancies as Lame Duck President: ‘Why Not? The Democrats Would’
President Donald Trump said that even when his presidency nears its eventual end, he would take any opportunity to appoint a new justice to the Supreme Court.
In a wide-ranging Tuesday radio interview with Hugh Hewitt, Trump was asked “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?” Trump’s answer: “Absolutely, I’d do it. Sure. It depends…”
“You know, I don’t know what you’re talking about, time, but if you’re talking about if something were to happen now, no, I would move quickly,” Trump went on. “Why not? I mean, they would. The Democrats would if they were in this position.”
Trump went on from there by gushing about the judicial vacancies he filled, saying nothing of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his record of setting up judicial nomination roadblocks during Barack Obama’s presidency. CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale pointed this out while tracking Trump’s interview.
Trump falsely told Hugh Hewitt that most presidents start off with zero judicial vacancies (it’s regularly in the dozens at least) but Obama left him 142 (104, in part because of McConnell’s obstruction strategy).
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) August 11, 2020
McConnell’s judicial maneuvering reached a high point of controversy in 2016 after Obama nominated Circuit Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by Antonin Scalia. The senate majority leader refused to hold confirmation hearings for Garland as he and his fellow Republicans argued that the 2016 presidential election should decide who would nominate Scalia’s successor.
In 2019, McConnell was asked what he would do in 2020 if another Supreme Court justice were to die during Trump’s re-election year.
“We’d fill it,” McConnell answered.
Watch above (start at 2:20), via The Hugh Hewitt Show.
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