Who will succeed Ginsburg on the US Supreme Court?

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The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, seen on September 20, 2017, leaves a vacancy on the Supreme Court bench.  PHOTO:  AFP

WASHINGTON  —  The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg offers US President Donald Trump an opportunity to replace the progressive Supreme Court justice with a staunch defender of conservative values — even if Democrats are girding for the political equivalent of trench warfare to oppose such a nominee.

Her successor, who would be Trump’s third nomination to the high court, is expected to lastingly anchor the country’s highest judicial body firmly on the political right. The president is counting on the Republican majority in the Senate to confirm his eventual choice.

Trump said Saturday he would nominate Ginsburg’s successor “very soon,” adding: “Most likely it would be a woman.”

Ginsburg, so popular on the left that she has become a cultural icon, had fought cancer for years, and Trump has had ample time to weigh possible nominees for the 87-year-old’s spot.

On September 9, he published a list of potential candidates, a move designed to reassure his political allies and mobilize conservative voters, notably those opposed to abortion rights.

The list is not definitive. Indeed, the two men he has named to the high court — Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 — did not appear on an original list of candidates Trump released in 2016.–AFP

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