Political News

Trump to pay respects to Ginsburg at court

Posted September 23, 2020 10:03 a.m. EDT

— President Donald Trump will visit the Supreme Court on Thursday to pay respects to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the White House said.

Ginsburg will lie in repose at the court on Wednesday and Thursday before a private interment at Arlington National Cemetery next week.

Trump has said he will announce a nominee to replace her on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.

Some of Trump's advisers encouraged him to announce his selection earlier, given a condensed timeline ahead of November's presidential election. But Trump determined it was better to wait until after memorial services for Ginsburg, saying he wanted to pay respect.

Since her death, Trump has sought to strike a respectful tone about Ginsburg, despite clashing with her earlier in his term. Ginsburg called Trump a "faker" in comments she later said were overly candid; Trump subsequently called for her to resign.

He ordered flags lowered in the hours after her death, and aides were careful to manage the initial response -- including waiting to alert Trump of the news until after he had finished a campaign rally in Minnesota. Instead of announcing the news from stage and risking a disrespectful reaction from the crowd, Trump delivered a brief statement beneath Air Force One as Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" blared in the background.

Still, he later dismissed her reported dying wish to be replaced by whomever wins the November election, saying it was likely a Democratic ploy. And he has wasted no time in selecting her replacement, meeting with multiple candidates and narrowing his sights on federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

In meetings over two days at the White House this week, Barrett has emerged as the overwhelming favorite for the nomination, though Trump says he is still finalizing his decision.

Trump has appeared keenly aware that any sign of disrespect for Ginsburg -- who Trump has insulted in the past -- would be used by Democrats to further galvanize their own voters in the lead-up to the election.

He hasn't shown similar respect for other officials who have criticized him. He did not pay his respects to Rep. John Lewis after the civil rights hero lay in state at the Capitol Rotunda. And he was not invited to Sen. John McCain's funeral at the Washington National Cathedral.

When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia lay in repose at the Supreme Court in 2016, then-President Barack Obama visited alongside the first lady. He did not attend Scalia's funeral.

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