Washington, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he believes the result of the November presidential election will end up in the Supreme Court, and therefore he is moving quickly to fill the high court vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“I think this will end up in the Supreme Court. And I think it’s very important we have nine justices,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday during a White House meeting with state attorneys general on social media.
“I think it’s better if you (get a new justice confirmed) before the election because I think … this scam that the Democrats are pulling … will be before the United States Supreme Court. … And I think having a 4-4 situation is not a good situation … if you’d get that. … I think it’s very important to have a ninth judge,” presumably to break such a potential tie.
Trump has insinuated repeatedly that he would not accept the result of the Nov. 3 election if he does not win, and he has insisted that he wants the winner to be known on election night, something that is considered improbable due to the huge anticipated volume of mail-in ballots because of the Covid-19 pandemic, where many people are reluctant to wait in long lines at the polling places but prefer to send their ballots in via the postal service.
The president is pursuing an offensive against voting by mail, insisting without any evidence that the method – which he himself has used many times – is rife with fraud, something that numerous studies have shown is extremely unlikely.
At a press conference shortly afterwards at the White House, Trump refused to guarantee that, if he loses the November vote, his transfer of power to the Democratic winner – presumably Joe Biden – will be peaceful.
“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said when questioned about the matter asked by a reporter whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power, but adding that he does not think he will lose and thus there won’t be any “transfer” of power, but rather a “continuation” of his term in office.
Trump is planning on Saturday to nominate his candidate to replace Ginsburg, who died last Friday at age 87 after a long battle with cancer, and on Wednesday he confirmed that Cuban-American Judge Barbara Lagoa is among the five magistrates he is considering for the post, although he denied that he has any plans to meet with her.
The president’s decision to immediately nominate a successor to Ginsburg has sparked heated controversy because the veteran progressive justice dictated a note before dying saying that her “most fervent wish” was “that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” that is, after the election.
However, Republicans have made clear that they already have the votes to confirm Trump’s nominee – whoever it might be and, evidently, regardless of any qualms that Democrats or others might have about the person – in the Senate and although there are less than six weeks remaining before the November vote, the president insisted that his aim is to have the matter resolved by then.
If the result of the elections were to be in dispute and Ginsburg’s vacancy had not yet been filled, the high court would have a conservative 5-3 majority, but with a nominee already confirmed in the post the conservative edge would be 6-3, thus giving Trump a virtually unassailable advantage in any election decision the court might be called upon to render.