President Donald Trump touted U.S. Senator Ted Cruz as a possible U.S. Supreme Court nominee during a September 18 rally in Minnesota. However, Trump was seemingly unaware of the news that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had just died when he made the comments about Cruz.
Ginsburg, the feminist icon who became a liberal stalwart on the U.S. Supreme Court, has died at the age of 87. According to NPR, Ginsburg died of “complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas.”
Bloomberg noted, “Unaware of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Trump touts Ted Cruz for the Supreme Court at his campaign rally on Friday evening in Bemidji, Minnesota.” Watch:
Unaware of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Trump touts Ted Cruz for the Supreme Court at his campaign rally on Friday evening in Bemidji, Minnesota pic.twitter.com/85l4hg3I5z
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) September 19, 2020
Trump brought up Cruz in the context of speaking about Cruz’s last Senate victory. “I helped a lot too. I was with Ted all the way, and I think Ted appreciated it. Even said I’m putting Ted Cruz as one of the people for the Supreme Court,” Trump said. He continued:
You know why I did it, because I wanted to make sure I had somebody on the list of about 45 unbelievable people, the smartest, the best, the absolute crème de la crème, the best minds in the country, conservative, they believe in the Constitution. Little things like this. But I said I have to add somebody that we’re going to make sure we could get approved. The only one I could think of was Ted. He’s going to get 50 Republican votes and 50 Democratic votes. They’ll do anything to get him out of the Senate. But I joke when I say that to Red, and I say that all the time, Ted’s only one I know that will get 100 votes in the Senate.
Trump added of Cruz: “He’s a great guy; he’s a brilliant guy.”
Is Trump serious? The problem with a Cruz nomination is that Republicans would lose his vote for the nominee, and they may need every Republican vote they can get because several Republicans have expressed concern about voting for a nominee so close to the election. Learn more about the nomination process here.
Trump caught up with the news about Ginsburg after the rally, where he said, according to C-Span, “She just died? Wow. I didn’t know that. You’re telling me now for the first time. She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman. Whether you agreed or not. She was an amazing woman who led an amazing life. I am sad to hear that.”
President Trump on death of Justice Ginsburg: "She just died? Wow. I didn't know that…She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman, whether you agree or not. She was an amazing woman who led an amazing life. I'm actually sad to hear that." pic.twitter.com/6oKuL671qO
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 19, 2020
Trump Mentioned the Supreme Court at Another Point During the Rally
You can watch the president’s rally above. “Watching this Trump rally in Bemidji, MN is trippy. Everyone knows Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died except, apparently, the most powerful man in the world,” NPR correspondent Jeff Brady wrote.
In the rally, Trump spoke about many other topics, such as the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prizes. He did bring up the Supreme Court, still apparently unaware of Ginsburg’s death.
“The next president will get 1, 2 3 or 4 Supreme Court justices,” Trump said at the live rally. “Many presidents have had none…they tend to be appointed young… the next one will have anywhere from one to four. Will totally change when you talk about life, second amendment… this is going to be the most important election in my opinion in the history of our country.”
“Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,” Chief Justice John Roberts said of Ginsburg, according to NPR, confirming RBG’s death. “We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”
The Senate Majority Leader Promised That Ginsburg’s Replacement Will Get a Vote on the Senate Floor
Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Ginsburg led an “extraordinary American life.”
He said, “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.” He added:
In the last midterm election before Justice Scalia’s death in 2016, Americans elected a Republican Senate majority because we pledged to check and balance the last days of a lame-duck president’s second term. We kept our promise. Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year. By contrast, Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary. Once again, we will keep our promise.
The replacement would be Trump’s third nomination to the nation’s highest court. Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were his previous picks for the court. Both are currently sitting on the court, Kavanaugh after a particularly ugly nomination fight.