The evening after the Supreme Court announced the death of late liberal Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgKatie Couric says she felt 'betrayed' by Lauer after sexual assault allegations Couric defends editing of RBG interview Biden's Supreme Court commission ends not with a bang but a whimper MORE, President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE and his supporters chanted “Fill that seat” during a campaign rally in Fayetteville, N.C.
“You may agree, you may not disagree with her, but she was an inspiration to a tremendous amount of people; I say all Americans,” Trump said opening the rally, noting Ginsburg’s close relationship with late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.
Seconds later, Trump said: “So, Article II of our constitution says the president shall nominate justices of the Supreme Court.”
“I don’t think it can be any more clear, can it? I don’t think so,” Trump said to a cheering crowd.
The president said his campaign may start selling shirts with the phrase “Fill that seat” and had the crowd vote on whether he should nominate a man or a woman by cheering.
“Fill that seat, that’s the new chant now,” Trump said.
Ginsburg’s death Friday evening immediately sparked a partisan battle over the fate of the vacancy on the conservative-majority court.
Trump and Senate GOP leaders indicated they are eager to fill the seat, a reversal from 2016 when the Senate GOP blocked then-President Obama's nominee Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandTrustmark Bank to pay million 'redlining' fine The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still upbeat Biden: Comment that DOJ should prosecute those who defy subpoenas 'not appropriate' MORE arguing at the time that Supreme Court vacancies should not be filled in election years.
Some moderate Republicans, such as Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Biden makes his pitch as tax questions mount Emanuel defends handling of Chicago police shooting amid opposition to nomination Emanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing MORE (Maine), were less eager to weigh in. Collins indicated Saturday that she does not support a Senate vote this year, which Trump pointed out during the rally.
“We have some senators that, you know,” Trump said. “I won’t say it, Susan, I won’t say it.”
Trump praised Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSenate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair GOP rallies around Manchin, Sinema Advocates frustrated by shrinking legal migration under Biden MORE (R-N.C.), another vulnerable Republican, for indicating he supports voting on a Trump nominee this year. GOP Sens. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyKelly raises million in third quarter Ruben Gallego is left's favorite to take on Sinema Texas not hiring private contractor for election audit MORE (R-Ariz.) and Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerWill Trump choose megalomania over country? I voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 Draft Georgia congressional lines target McBath, shore up Bourdeaux MORE (R-Ga.) — two more Republicans facing a tight reelection in swing states — have also endorsed moving to fill the vacancy this year.