In the wake of the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, audio recordings of US President Donald Trump bragging about his ability to shape the American judicial system have emerged.
Ginsburg, a feminist icon and liberal appointee to the highest court in the land, passed away at the age of 87 on Friday, leaving a vacancy in the nine member court which is now made up of five conservatives and three liberals. Ginsburg was appointed by Bill Clinton 27 years ago. Her death has created a political storm over whether Trump should be allowed to appoint Ginsburg’s replacement, given that the Supreme Court has the final say over some of the most divisive legal matters in America, such as the Roe v Wade case, which legalised abortion 47 years ago but remains one of the most controversial political issues in the country to this day.
Despite conservatives having a 5-4 advantage in the Supreme Court prior to Ginsburg’s passing, if Trump appoints what will be a third justice in his first term, the 6-3 deficit may take decades to overcome, ruling out the chance of any meaningful liberal or progressive legislation being passed for perhaps a generation.
As a result, there have been calls for the nomination and appointment of Ginsburg’s replacement to be put on hold until the November presidential election has been decided, considering that, with a Republican controlled Senate, Trump could fast-track an appointment. The fact that Trump now effectively has control over an entire generation’s future was highlighted by the President in an interview conducted with revered journalist, Bob Woodward.
Trump bragged about the rate at which he has been able to appoint federal judges throughout his almost four years in office, thanks to the fact that Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, has made light work of approving Trump’s 126 nominations.
“You know, you have presidents that never got to appoint a Supreme Court judge. I’ve appointed two in three years,” Trump said, as reported by BBC in a March interview with the journalist best known for his role in exposing the Watergate scandal under Richard Nixon.
“You know what Mitch’s biggest thing is in the whole world? His judges. He will absolutely ask me, please let’s get the judge approved instead of 10 ambassadors.”
Trump described the Supreme Court vacancies that he inherited from former President Barrack Obama as “golden nuggets” before acknowledging that the court is not impartial, even though it should be apolitical in theory.
“Well, it depends,” Mr Trump told Woodward. “Yeah, it’s very partisan right now, basically. It’s always a party vote. I mean, look, the whole country right now is a partisan vote.”