World

Trump to name woman to take Ginsburg's spot in US Supreme Court

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Saturday said he would nominate a woman to succeed the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The president's desire "to move quickly" on the process, despite Democrats' vehement opposition, is likely to dominate the campaign - alongside other hot-button issues such as the coronavirus and America's ongoing racial reckoning - ahead of the Nov 3 election.

"I think it's going to move quickly actually," Mr Trump told reporters outside the White House on Saturday, adding that he thought his choice would be made "next week".

Addressing a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, later that day, he took an impromptu poll from the crowd, asking them to cheer for either a woman or a man to be his pick. The crowd cheered considerably louder for the former.

"That's a very accurate poll because that's the way I feel. It will be a woman. A very talented, very brilliant woman, who I haven't chosen yet - but we have numerous women on the list."

The 87-year-old liberal's death on Friday, just weeks before the election, offers Republicans a chance to lock in a conservative majority for decades to come, on a court where justices are appointed for life. The stakes are high as the decision could affect abortion, healthcare, gun control and gay rights.

They are pushed even higher in a bitter election year when the justices can play a decisive role in legal wrangling over a contested result.

Mr Trump has already named two justices during his term as president, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, giving conservatives a 5-4 majority before Justice Ginsburg's death, though that does not guarantee rulings in Mr Trump's favour.

Mr Trump's move will provide a jolt of enthusiasm among his anti-abortion and evangelical supporters.

"It was God's perfect timing in this election," said Ms Paulette Fittshur, 59, from Leland, North Carolina who plans to vote for Mr Trump. "It's a golden opportunity for conservatives."

But for Democrats, it was a new, urgent reason to vote Mr Trump out of office.

"If Trump wins, things are not going to change for a long time," said Ms Diya Kalra, 18, a University of Minnesota in Minneapolis student. "We're going to go backward." - AFP, REUTERS

WORLD