Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Trump said that he was going to nominate a new Supreme Court justice next week and that he did not agree with Collins’ stance on the issue.
"I totally disagree with her, we have an obligation, we won, and we have an obligation as the winners to pick who we want. That’s not the next president", Trump said, adding "hopefully I’ll be the next president". Trump explained that the obligation that he has concerns all US voters who support him.
Trump named Amy Coney Barrett of the Chicago-based 7th Circuit and Barbara Lagoa of the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit as possible nominees.
Later on Saturday, speaking at a campaign rally in North Carolina, Trump confirmed that he will announce his Supreme Court justice pick next week and that it will be a woman.
"We are going to fill the seat", Trump said, stressing that "there have been 29 times of vacancy open during an election year or prior to it … every single time the sitting president made a nomination. I will be putting forward the nominee next week, it will be a woman", Trump told his supporters in North Carolina.
"President Trump has the constitutional authority to make a nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, and I would have no objection to the Senate Judiciary Committee's beginning the process of reviewing his nominee's credentials," Collins said on Saturday, adding, however, that because of the upcoming presidential election "the decision on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the President who is elected on 3November" and the Senate should not vote on the nominee prior to the election.
On Friday, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, at the age of 87, at her home in Washington.
Trump now has the opportunity to expand the Supreme Court’s conservative majority to 6 (out of a total of 9) justices.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Friday that the Senate would vote on Trump’s pick to replace Ginsburg despite the fact that it is an election year.
The Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority in the US Senate.