Washington: A fierce political battle was shaping up over the future of the US Supreme Court on Saturday, with President Donald Trump saying he would quickly name a successor to liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a move that would tip the court further to the right.
"We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices," Trump said on Twitter. "We have this obligation, without delay!"
Ginsburg, the senior liberal justice, died on Friday night at age 87 of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer after 27 years on the court. Her death gives Trump, who is seeking re-election on November 3, a chance to expand the court's conservative majority to 6-3 at a time of a gaping political divide in America.
Democrats are still seething over the Republican Senate's refusal to act on Democratic President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, in 2016 after conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died 10 months before that election. McConnell in 2016 said the Senate should not act on a court nominee during an election year, a stance he has since reversed.