WASHINGTON: The race for the White House heated up Sunday with both sides galvanized by the battle to nominate a new Supreme Court justice and Donald Trump vowing to soon name his choice. The president said Saturday that he expected to announce his nominee in the coming week and that it "will be a woman -- a very talented, very brilliant woman."
He said he had not made his final decision, however, on a replacement for liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at 87. The prospect of a Senate confirmation vote on a Trump nominee even before the November 3 election -- or in the lame-duck session immediately following -- has sparked furious pushback from Democrats desperate to stop Trump moving the court lastingly to the right.
It augurs a seismic battle in a year that has already seen an impeachment vote, the Covid-19 pandemic and a bruising economic collapse. Trump's opponent in the election, former vice president Joe Biden, has joined other Democrats in saying the choice of Ginsburg's replacement -- to a lifetime appointment -- should be left to the next president.
But with Republicans holding 53 of the 100 Senate seats, Democrats face an uphill battle. Among the Democrats' few options: delaying tactics in the Senate and efforts to mobilize public pressure on a few moderate Republicans to split with their party. At least two Republicans have indicated concern about a rushed vote.
"We have our options... arrows in our quiver," House speaker Nancy Pelosi, a senior Democrat, said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."
But she rejected the notion of using talks with the Trump administration over a new pandemic relief bill as leverage to slow matters, saying, "None of us has any interest in shutting down government."