US President Donald Trump dared the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to impeach him a second time for attempts to nominate a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the US Supreme Court Justice who died last week.
"I'm the only guy in the world that could be impeached for filling a seat. Go ahead, I want them to do that," Trump told his supporters at a rally in Toledo Ohio, adding that he "constitutionally obligated" to nominate a new justice.
His statement comes a day after Pelosi did not rule out impeaching Trump or Attorney General William Barr if the Senate push through Trump’s nominee during a lame duck session.
Trump wants to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal who was appointed by then-President Bill Clinton in 1993, with a conservative. He said his pick would be a woman and that he would announce her name on Friday or Saturday. Once the president names a nominee, the Senate, which is now dominated by Republicans, will hold a vote.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell signalled that the vote will be held before upcoming presidential elections, scheduled for November. Democrats oppose the move. They accuse McConnell of hypocrisy, reminding him that when justice Anton Scalia died in 2016, McConnell refused to hold a vote to confirm the nominee put forward by Barack Obama, a Democrat.
Pelosi, the most powerful Democrat, suggested that she and her fellow party members can influence the vote on Trump’s nominee.
"We have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now, but the fact is we have a big challenge in our country," Pelosi said.
Who Was Ruth Ginsburg and Why is Trump’s Nominee Important?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on 18 September at the age of 87 from pancreatic cancer. A graduate of Harvard Law school, she became the second female justice in the history of US Supreme Court, when she was nominated by president Bill Clinton. Ginsburg achieved near-celebrity status for defending women’s rights and progressive ideas.
As mentioned earlier, Trump wants to replace Ginsburg, a liberal, with a conservative and if his nominee is confirmed, this will cement a right-leaning majority in the Supreme Court, the country’s highest court, for decades, as justices there serve until they die or retire.
The US Supreme Court rules on the most contentious laws and disputes between states and the federal government.
According to granddaughter of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the justice’s dying wish was not to be replaced until after the presidential election. Trump questioned the veracity of this statement.
"Well, I don’t know that she said that, or was that written out by Adam Schiff and Schumer and Pelosi? I would be more inclined to the second," Trump said.