Washington, Sep 24 (efe-epa).- A large crowd loudly booed President Donald Trump on Thursday during his visit to the Supreme Court, where the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was lying in state.
Ginsburg, a progressive and feminist icon on the high court, died last Friday at age 87 and Trump has said he wants to replace her with a conservative justice before the Nov. 3 election.
Trump and his wife Melania made a quick visit to the Supreme Court building, where Ginsburg’s casket has been placed at the top of the court steps.
Wearing matching black facemasks, Trump and the first lady stood on either side of the casket and observed approximately a minute of silence, while the boos of the crowd gathered in front of the high court increased in strength.
“Vote him out!” chanted the people assembled there until Trump made a half-turn and entered the court prior to leaving the site.
Those who were shouting at and booing the president included dozens of people who were waiting in line to approach Ginsburg’s casket, and when the presidential limousine arrived they also shouted “Honor her wish!”
With that phrase, the crowd was referring to Ginsburg’s reported last wish, which she dictated to her granddaughter shortly before she died and in which she said that her “most fervent wish” was not to be replaced on the Supreme Court “until a new president is installed.”
Ginsburg, one of the four progressive justices on the high court, was aware that if Trump replaced her that could firmly shift the Supreme Court’s stance to the right, possibly for decades given that all seats are lifetime appointments. Before she died, the conservative-liberal balance was 5-4, but if another conservative justice is inserted to take her place the ratio will be 6-3 and it will be almost impossible for liberals or progressives to expect favorable rulings on cases, possibly for many years to come.
Trump has made clear, however, that he has no intention of backing away from nominating a replacement for Ginsburg, and he has asserted he plans to announce the name of that person on Saturday after saying that he had reduced the list of possible candidates to five, all of them women.
Members of the Republican majority in the Senate have said that they have the votes to approve anyone Trump nominates, even before knowing who it will be, and although less than six weeks remain before the November election, the president has insisted that his aim is to have the matter resolved before the nationwide balloting.
The result of this would be that, should the election be contested and the Supreme Court be tasked with rendering a ruling on such matters, the high court would be firmly in the hands of conservatives who well might support Trump on the issue, since three of the those justices would have been appointed by him.
Hundreds of people came to the Supreme Court building on Wednesday and Thursday to pay their last respects to Ginsburg, whose casket will be taken on Friday to the Capitol building, where she will be the first female US official to be accorded the honor of lying in state in Congress, before being interred in a private ceremony.