Trump news: Push to ram through Supreme Court pick by election day, as Democrats say RBG ‘turning in grave’

·3-min read
Trump speaks at the rally held at Harrisburg International Airport in Middletown, Pennsylvania (Getty)
Trump speaks at the rally held at Harrisburg International Airport in Middletown, Pennsylvania (Getty)

Donald Trump mocked a protestor while speaking at a rally in ‘battleground’ Pennsylvania on Saturday night.

The president trails Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the Keystone State by 4.3 per cent, according to an average of polls tabulated by RealClearPolitics. But Mr Trump and his campaign aides say their polling, like in 2016, shows a far closer race there.

The incident comes after a progressive activist group of Democrat supporters announced they had purchased the internet domain name in an attempt to fight Ms Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court - a move which they say confirms Mr Trump's efforts to take over the US judicial system.

Mr Trump urged Republicans, who hold a 53-47 Senate majority, to confirm judge Barrett, a federal appeals court judge and a favorite of religious conservatives, by the 3 November election.

He has said he expects the justices to have to resolve the election in which he faces Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

The Supreme Court has only once in U.S. history had to resolve a presidential election, in 2000. Mr Trump also has declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election.

"I look forward to meeting with the nominee next week and will carefully study her record and credentials," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has made confirming Mr Trump's judicial appointments a paramount priority. "As I have stated, this nomination will receive a vote on the Senate floor in the weeks ahead."

Judge Barrett is expected to begin meetings with individual senators on Tuesday. Mr Trump said the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by his ally Senator Lindsey Graham, would begin confirmation hearings on 12 October.

Like Mr Trump's two other appointees, Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, judge Barrett is young enough that she could serve for decades in the lifetime job, leaving a lasting conservative imprint. Mr Trump's two previous appointments were surrounded by controversy.

The president was able to appoint Justice Gorsuch to fill the vacancy left by Scalia's 2016 death only because Mr McConnell refused to let the Senate consider Obama's nominee Merrick Garland because it was an election year, an action with little precedent in US history. Democrats now accuse him of hypocrisy.

Justice Kavanaugh was confirmed after a tumultuous confirmation process during which a California university professor accused him of sexually assaulting her in 1983 when both were high school students in Maryland. The justice denied the allegation and portrayed himself as the victim of an "orchestrated political hit" by Democrats.

Reuters contributed to this report. Check out The Independent’s live coverage below:

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