Donald Trump said at a rally on Friday that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz could make a potential Supreme Court nominee one day. The president was apparently not aware of the announcement just shortly before that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died.
As The Inquisitr reported, Ginsburg died on Friday at the age of 87. Her passing sparked immediate speculation about how Trump will proceed with her vacancy and whether her seat could be filled before the next president is sworn in this coming January.
Speaking at a rally in Minnesota, Trump touted his former Republican primary opponent as a potential member of the Supreme Court one day. As the Washington Times reported, Trump predicted that Cruz could easily be confirmed by even Democrats.
“I’m putting Ted Cruz as one of the people for the Supreme Court,” Trump said at the rally in Bemidji, Minnesota. “Ted’s the only man I know who could get 100 votes from the Senate. Every single senator is going to vote for him. He’s a great guy, a brilliant guy.”
The report noted that news of Ginsburg’s death had just started to circulate at the time that Trump was speaking to the crowd, and there does not appear to be any evidence that he knew of her death at the time he discussed filling a hypothetical vacancy.
Trump had previously spoken about Cruz as a potential nominee in the event that a vacancy would arise while he was president. As the Texas Tribune reported, Trump said earlier in the month that the Lone Star State senator was on his short list.
The report noted that Cruz responded with a statement that he was honored, though he remained focused on his work in congress.
“It’s humbling and an immense honor to be considered for the Supreme Court,” he said. “In the Senate, I have been blessed to lead the fight to preserve our constitutional liberties —every day, to defend the rights of 29 million Texans — and I look forward to continuing to do so for many years to come.”
It was not clear yet whether Trump would present a nominee, or whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would hold hearings. Many on the left have called for McConnell to abide by the standard he used after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, when he said that voters in an election year should get the chance to choose the president who would fill the open seat.