U.S. President Donald Trump said that he believes the result of the November election will end up on the Supreme Court, which is why he is rushing to fill the vacancy left on that court by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“I think this (election) will end up on the Supreme Court, and I think it’s very important that we have nine justices,” Trump told reporters during a meeting with attorneys general from several states at the White House.
“It’s better if (we approve a new judge) before the election, because I think this fraud that the Democrats are preparing, this fraud will end up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court,” he added.
Trump has repeatedly hinted that he might not accept the outcome of the November 3 election if he is not declared the winner, and has insisted that he wants the winner to be known on the night of the election, which is unlikely given the large volume of mail ballots expected in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The president is on the offensive against postal voting, insisting that this method – which he himself has used – can encourage fraud, something about which he has provided no evidence and which is extremely unlikely to occur, as several studies have shown.
During a press conference shortly afterward at the White House, Trump refused to guarantee that, if he loses in November, his transfer of power to Democratic candidate Joe Biden will be peaceful.
“We’ll have to see what happens, you know, I’ve been complaining a lot about what’s going on with the ballots,” Trump said when questioned about this.
Trump plans to nominate this Saturday his candidate to replace Ginsburg, who died last Friday at age 87. This Wednesday he confirmed that Cuban-American judge Barbara Lagoa is among the five judges he is considering for the post, although he denied that he has plans to meet with her.
Trump’s decision to immediately nominate a replacement for Ginsburg has generated controversy because the veteran progressive judge wrote, before she died, that her “most fervent wish” was “not to be replaced until there is a new president” after the election.
However, Republicans have made it clear that they already have the votes to confirm Trump’s Senate nominee, and although there are less than six weeks left in the election, the president insisted that his goal is to have it resolved by then.
If the outcome of the election were in dispute and the vacancy left by Ginsburg had not been filled, the Supreme Court would still have a conservative majority of five justices, as opposed to the three progressively-leaning justices remaining on the court after the death of the famous magistrate.