President Trump said at a rally on Saturday night that he will nominate a woman to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,. "I will be putting forth a nominee next week, it will be a woman," Mr. Trump said as the crowd cheered and chanted "fill that seat!"
There are several women believed to be top contenders for Ginsburg's seat, including Judges Amy Coney Barrett, Barbara Lagoa, Kate Comerford Todd and Joan Larsen.
Ginsburg's death has already set off awithin the Senate. After Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, Republicans in the Senate blocked a vote on then-President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, citing the upcoming election as the reason. Some of the key Republicans who blocked that vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary chair Lindsey Graham among them, have already indicated they think a vote should happen this time with even less time to go before the election.
A source said that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on a call with Democrats earlier Saturday that "if Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year."
Republican Senator Susan Collins, who is facing a tough reelection battle this year, issued a statement on Saturday saying she does not think the Senate should vote on a nominee before the election. Mr. Trump at his rally hinted he had heard about her statement, saying that there are some senators — "I won't say it, Susan" — who don't think there should be be a vote.
"in an election year or prior to an inauguration," Mr. Trump said. "Twenty-nine times, that's a lot — every single time, the sitting president made a nomination."
"So we win an election and those are the consequences — you know, it's called fill that seat, and that's what we're doing," Mr. Trump said.
The rest of Mr. Trump's rally hit on his standard campaign issues, and he frequently referenced the state's coronavirus restrictions, as well as Senator Thom Tillis, who is locked in a tough reelection battle.
North Carolina is an important swing state in the presidential election, with the CBS News Battleground Tracker calling the state a toss up. The latest poll has Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading 52% to Mr. Trump's 47%.