WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said he is considering five women to replace the late Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
When will that person be announced?
“Friday or Saturday after the services,” Trump said, when asked about the timeline.
Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to give the nomination a vote by the end of the year, though not necessarily by the Nov. 3 Election Day. President Trump has said he wants his new justice in place by Election Day in case of challenges to voting and vote counting.
Doing so before election day would be a rushed process by historical standards.
It takes an average of 68 days to confirm a new Justice, and the election will be 39 days away Friday. However, there is precedent for moving quickly.
Democrats are crying foul after Republicans spent eight months refusing to even hold a hearing on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland. In 2016, they arged it would be wrong to do so in an election year.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham four years ago explicitly said he would treat a Republican President the same way, but has already reversed his position.
Not all Republicans agree with the change in position. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Maine Sen. Susan Collins have already said they would not support a nomination ahead of the election.
It would effectively take four Republican Senators, though, to block the effort to confirm a new justice.
Several other Republicans have not yet committed one way or another, including Utah Sen. Mitt Romney. Romney is an institutionalist who is no friend of Trump.
Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts and Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley are two more institutionalists who have not committed yet.
Republican Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, who’s facing a tough re-election battle in an increasingly Democratic leaning state, has yet to commit.
Two other wrinkles to watch out for are a recess appointment and the Senate Race in Arizona.
In theory, Trump could appoint a justice during a senate recess. It would happen in late October before the election. The appointment would last until there is a full confirmation.
The senate seat in Arizona that Democrats are looking to pick up on Election Day could also be crucial.
Mark Kelly, the Democrat, would be replacing an appointed Republican Senator if he wins.
He would be allowed to enter the Senate November 30th, changing the math even before a new Congress is seated.