Donald Trump on Saturday appointed Conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the United States Supreme Court amid heightened tensions six weeks before the presidential election.
“Tonight, I have the honor of appointing one of the country’s brightest and most talented jurists to the Supreme Court,” the US president said from the gardens of the White House.
“You are going to be fantastic,” he said, addressing the 48-year-old judge, standing beside him, before predicting a “quick” confirmation of this appointment by the Senate.
Barring a huge surprise, Amy Coney Barrett, a practicing Catholic opposed to abortion, will strengthen the conservative majority within this key institution that settles the great debates of American society.
The presidential choice should be quickly validated by the Senate, a Republican majority. Hearings are due to start on October 12, with a vote expected in late October, days before the November 3 election.
“This is my third appointment,” said Mr. Trump with a smile, who will have rarely appointed three supreme judges – out of a college of nine – in a single term.
In the suburbs of Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, where the former real estate mogul was to hold a campaign rally in the evening, the announcement of the appointment, broadcast on the big screen in front of the hundreds of people already present, has was greeted with cheers and applause.
“USA, USA, USA,” chanted the crowd immediately after the announcement.
“I love the United States and I love the Constitution of the United States,” Amy Coney Barrett said in a brief address in which she paid deep tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the late progressive judge. last week and which she is called upon to replace.
“She has won the admiration of women across the country and around the world,” she said.
Call to wait
Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden on Saturday called on the US Senate not to vote on the nomination of Conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court ahead of the November 3 presidential election.
“The Senate should not vote on this vacancy” created by the death of progressive judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg “until the Americans have chosen their next president and their next Congress,” he said in a communicated a few minutes after the announcement of the appointment by Donald Trump.
As soon as the death of “RBG”, a progressive and feminist icon, Donald Trump quickly started the process to permanently anchor the Supreme Court in conservatism, its judges being appointed for life.
The entire Democratic camp is on the wind, arguing that it should be up to the winner of the presidential election to make such a defining choice for American society.
The highest court is regularly called upon to rule on highly sensitive issues, such as abortion, the right to bear arms, affirmative action or even electoral disputes.
For Senator Kamala Harris, running mate of Joe Biden, the confirmation of this judge “would push the court even further to the right” and “would harm millions of Americans”, putting in particular endanger the health insurance adopted under Mr. Obama.
Powerful civil rights organization ACLU again urged the Senate on Saturday to “postpone the confirmation process” until the day after the next president’s inauguration on January 20.
The subject will undoubtedly be at the heart of the campaign’s first televised debate Tuesday night between Joe Biden, favorite in the polls, and Donald Trump, who is partly relying on this sequence to catch up.
The choice of Amy Coney Barrett, mother of seven, law professor and magistrate known for her traditionalist religious convictions, could galvanize the conservative Christian electorate on which Donald Trump relied heavily in his surprise election there. four years.
Especially since despite a majority of judges already theoretically on the right after two appointments by the former New York businessman, the Supreme Court had inflicted at the beginning of the summer a series of setbacks on the conservative camp, on the ‘voluntary termination of pregnancy as on the rights of sexual minorities and young undocumented migrants.
The high court “spits in the faces of people proud to consider themselves Republicans or conservatives”, then cursed Donald Trump.