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Trump Pledges To Name A Woman To Supreme Court; Says Pick Could Come This Week

President Trump speaks with reporters on the South Lawn prior to departing the White House on Saturday.
Alex Edelman
AFP via Getty Images
President Trump speaks with reporters on the South Lawn prior to departing the White House on Saturday.

The president says he likely will nominate a woman, noting that such a choice "would certainly be appropriate."

President Trump says that he expects to announce a nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death "next week" and that the pick will likely be a woman.

"A choice of a woman would certainly be appropriate," he told reporters at the White House on Saturday before leaving for a campaign rally in North Carolina.

(Later on, at that rally, Trump pledged his pick would indeed be a woman: "It will be a woman, a very talented, very brilliant woman.")

"We want to respect the process," Trump said. "I think it's going to go very quickly, actually." He had previously tweeted that Republicans should move forward with a nominee "without delay."

Shortly after the court announced Ginsburg's death on Friday night, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he intends to bring the president's selection to a vote on the Senate floor.

Democrats have cried foul, saying there should not be a vote until after the election. They point to McConnell's decision in 2016 to stop then-President Barack Obama's nomination to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia's seat on the court.

Now, attention is on more moderate Senate Republicans such as Susan Collins of Maine, who is in a tough reelection fight.

In a statement on Saturday, Collins said that she does not support a vote on a Supreme Court nominee before the election and that the winner of the presidential election should name the pick. She did not explicitly say she would vote to stop a pre-election nomination if it happened.

"We won [the last election] and we have an obligation as the winners to pick who we want," Trump said. He predicted the Senate would move quickly on his nominee. "I would think before [the Nov. 3 election] would be very good."

Trump was asked by reporters about Judge Amy Coney Barrett, whom he called "highly respected," but stopped short of saying she was the front-runner. Reporters also asked about another jurist being mentioned as a potential choice: Judge Barbara Lagoa. Trump said he had heard good things about her, and noted she is Hispanic and from Miami.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sam Gringlas is a journalist at NPR's All Things Considered. In 2020, he helped cover the presidential election with NPR's Washington Desk and has also reported for NPR's business desk covering the workforce. He's produced and reported with NPR from across the country, as well as China and Mexico, covering topics like politics, trade, the environment, immigration and breaking news. He started as an intern at All Things Considered after graduating with a public policy degree from the University of Michigan, where he was the managing news editor at The Michigan Daily. He's a native Michigander.