US President Donald Trump has said that he will announce this week his nominee to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Justice Ginsburg, 87, died on Friday. This would be Trump's third Supreme Court nominee in his first term. Unlike India where Supreme Court judges have a retirement age, judges to the US Supreme Court are appointed for life. The president has already said that he will nominate a woman for the position.
"I would say (announce) on Friday or Saturday I will be announcing the pick. Five women are being looked at and vetted very carefully, and we will make a decision probably Friday or Saturday," Trump told reporters at the White House.
Hours later, addressing an election rally, Trump took an impromptu poll from thousands of his supporters, who overwhelmingly endorsed his decision to nominate a woman for the US Supreme Court.
"It will be a woman and we're looking forward to it. And it's a big day for our country. It's a big day for you. It's a big day for Ohio. So, I think it'll be great," Trump told cheering supporters.
At the White House, Trump told reporters that he may meet Barbara Lagoa while he is in Miami on Friday raising speculation that the Cuban-American lawyer could be the president's nominee.
"I'm getting a lot of phone calls from a lot of people. She (Lagoa) has a lot of support. I don't know her, but I hear she is outstanding," Trump said.
Trump is also considering Amy Coney Barrett. He has nominated both Lagoa and Barrett to serve in their current positions on the federal appellate bench.
Responding to a question, Trump said he would much rather have a vote before the election because there's a lot of work to be done.
"I would much rather have it and we have plenty of time to do it. I mean there's really a lot of time so let's say I make the announcement on Saturday there's a great deal of time before the election," he said. The presidential election is on November 3.
"I think it sends a good signal and I'm just doing my constitutional obligation. I have an obligation to do this so I would rather see it before the election," he said.
Meanwhile, republicans have the votes to confirm President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick before the November 3 presidential election, according to the Senate Judiciary chairman who will shepherd the nomination through the chamber.
"The nominee is going to be supported by every Republican in the Judiciary Committee," Chairman Lindsey Graham told Fox News late Monday.
"We've got the votes to confirm the justice on the floor of the Senate before the election and that's what's coming."
The president met with conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the White House on Monday and told reporters he would interview other candidates and might meet with Judge Barbara Lagoa when he travels to Florida later this week. Conversations in the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office have been increasingly focused on Barrett and Lagoa, according to a person granted anonymity to discuss the private deliberations.
Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the chamber and can confirm a justice by a simple majority.
Barrett has long been favored by conservatives, and those familiar with the process said interest inside the White House seemed to be waning for Lagoa amid concerns by some that she did not have a proven record as a conservative jurist.