Gins­burg mourn­ers boo leader

Bangkok Post - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON: Pro­test­ers and mourn­ers heck­led US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump as he paid his re­spects on Thurs­day to Ruth Bader Gins­burg at the Supreme Court, in­vok­ing the lib­eral jus­tice’s deathbed plea not to be re­placed un­til af­ter the Novem­ber elec­tion.

As Mr Trump, wear­ing a black face mask, and First Lady Me­la­nia Trump stood solemnly be­hind Gins­burg’s flag­draped cas­ket on the steps of the court, pro­tes­tors booed and bel­lowed chants from the street be­low.

The pres­i­dent did not ap­pear to ac­knowl­edge the pro­test­ers, who could be heard shout­ing “Hon­our her wish!” and “Vote him out!”

Later at the White House, Mr Trump told re­porters that he and the first lady “could hardly hear it from where we were” but his spokes­woman con­demned the heck­ling.

“The chants were ap­palling but cer­tainly to be ex­pected when you are in the heart of the swamp,” said Kayleigh McE­nany. “I thought it was an ap­palling and dis­re­spect­ful thing to do as the pres­i­dent hon­oured Jus­tice Gins­burg.”

Mr Trump is not ac­cus­tomed to hon­our­ing po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents, and his visit to the Supreme Court to pay his re­spects to Gins­burg was a rare trib­ute by the Repub­li­can pres­i­dent.

He also rarely wears a face mask in public and has fre­quently mocked his Demo­cratic op­po­nent Joe Bi­den for do­ing so.

Ac­cord­ing to Na­tional Public Ra­dio, Ms Gins­burg, dur­ing her fi­nal days, told her grand­daugh­ter, Clara Spera, that her “most fer­vent wish is that I will not be re­placed un­til a new pres­i­dent is in­stalled”.

De­spite Ms Gins­burg’s plea and Demo­cratic op­po­si­tion, Mr Trump is push­ing ahead with plans to re­place the fem­i­nist icon on the court ahead of the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. “I think it’s go­ing to go very, very quickly,” he told Fox News Ra­dio.

Mr Trump has pledged to nom­i­nate a woman to fill Gins­burg’s seat and the White House has been vet­ting can­di­dates for con­fir­ma­tion by the Repub­li­can-con­trolled Se­nate. “I have five women. I like them all,” he said.

He planned to an­nounce his nom­i­nee for the life­time post on the na­tion’s high­est court at the White House at 4am (Thai­land time) today.

Ms Gins­burg’s death last week at the age of 87 al­lows the pres­i­dent to ce­ment a con­ser­va­tive ma­jor­ity on the nine­mem­ber court for decades to come.

Democrats are de­mand­ing that the process of re­plac­ing Ms Gins­burg wait un­til af­ter the elec­tion, when it will be known whether Trump will serve a sec­ond term.

But Mr Trump says the post must be filled, in case the elec­tion is con­tested and ends up be­fore the high court, a pos­si­bil­ity that is rais­ing ten­sions in Wash­ing­ton. “I think this will end up in the Supreme Court. And I think it’s im­por­tant we have nine jus­tices,” he said.

Repub­li­can sen­a­tors in­sist they have the right to vote on the nom­i­na­tion ei­ther be­fore the elec­tion or dur­ing the “lame-duck” ses­sion be­fore the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the next pres­i­dent in Jan­uary. Two Repub­li­can sen­a­tors have said the vote should not be held be­fore the elec­tion.

BLOOMBERG

Hon­our Guards salute as the cas­ket of late Supreme Court Jus­tice Ruth Bader Gins­burg lies in re­pose out­side the Supreme Court in Wash­ing­ton, DC.

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