The Latest: Graham says SCOTUS hearing will help him win

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says he believes his role in the confirmation process for a new Supreme Court justice will likely bolster his reelection bid.

At an event for a congressional candidate Monday, Graham said in North Charleston, South Carolina, that he feels his defense of Brett Kavanaugh during a contentious 2018 Supreme Court confirmation hearing has given him conservative bona fides that will help boost him to reelection in a tight race with Democrat Jaime Harrison.

“I don’t know what it is about me and moments and lightning, but lightning has struck again,” Graham said of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the pivotal role that he will play in the process to replace her.

As chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Graham will shepherd the confirmation process.

In 2016, when Antonin Scalia died, Graham supported a move by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to refuse a confirmation hearing for President Barack Obama’s nominee. They said then that it wouldn’t be right to confirm a justice during an election year. Scalia died 237 days before the 2016 election.

Ginsburg died 46 days before the 2020 election.


12:20 p.m.

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff says President Donald Trump has reached a “new low” for suggesting Democrats were behind a report that the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she did not want to be replaced until a new president is inaugurated.

NPR reported Friday that Ginsburg dictated a statement in her final days that said: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

Ginsburg dictated the statement to Clara Spera, her granddaughter, according to NPR’s Nina Totenberg, who has covered the Supreme Court for decades but is also a longtime personal friend of the late justice.

On “Fox & Friends” on Monday, Trump claimed without evidence: “I don’t know that she said that, or was that written out by Adam Schiff and Schumer and Pelosi,” referring also to Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Schiff later tweeted: “No, I didn’t write Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish to a nation she served so well, and spent her whole life making a more perfect union. But I am going to fight like hell to make it come true. No confirmation before inauguration.”

Ginsburg, 87, died Friday from metastatic pancreatic cancer.


11:45 a.m.

The body of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in repose at the Supreme Court this week, with arrangements to allow for public viewing despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Ginsburg’s casket will be on public view Wednesday and Thursday under the portico at the top of the iconic steps in front of the building. A private ceremony will take place at the court on Wednesday morning.

House Speaker Nancy Pelsosi announced that Ginsburg will lie in state in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall on Friday. That ceremony will be open only to invited guests, Pelosi said.

Ginsburg will be buried next week at Arlington National Cemetery in a private service, the court said.

The justice died Friday at age 87.

Congress made similar arrangements for a public viewing outside the Capitol after Rep. John Lewis’ death in July.


8:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he’s narrowed his list of candidates to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to four or five candidates.

In a Monday interview with “Fox & Friends,” the president confirmed that among the top contenders are Indiana’s Amy Coney Barrett and Florida’s Barbara Lagoa, both appellate court judges he appointed. Trump also indicated that Allison Jones Rushing, a 38-year-old appellate judge from North Carolina, is also on the short-list.

Trump has promised to nominate a woman for the high court, adding that his preference is for someone younger who could hold sway on the nation’s jurisprudence for potentially four or five decades. Trump says he’ll aim to announce his pick on Friday or Saturday, after funeral services for Ginsburg conclude.

Trump adds: “I think that would be good for the Republican Party and I think it would be good for everybody to get it over with.”

Ginsburg, 87, died Friday of metastatic pancreatic cancer.


8:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he expects to announce his pick for the Supreme Court on Friday or Saturday, after funeral services for Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

He told “Fox & Friends” on Monday that he had a list of five finalists, “probably four,” and that he is pushing for a confirmation vote before Election Day.

Trump disparaged reports that Ginsburg had told her granddaughter it was her wish that a replacement justice not be confirmed until the inauguration of a new president. Trump said he thought his Democratic political foes were behind the report, including Rep. Adam Schiff, who led the House impeachment probe, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.

“I don’t know that she said that, or was that written out by Adam Schiff and Schumer and Pelosi,” Trump said. “I would be more inclined to the second … But that sounds like a Schumer deal or maybe a Pelosi or Shifty Schiff.” his nickname for the California congressman. Trump frequently disparages Schiff, without evidence as being behind a conspiracy against him.

Ginsburg, 87, died Friday of metastatic pancreatic cancer.


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