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Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally

The Hill logo The Hill 9/19/2020 J. Edward Moreno
Donald Trump holding a sign: Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally © Getty Images Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally

The evening after the Supreme Court announced the death of late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Trump and his supporters chanted "Fill that seat" during a campaign rally in Fayetteville, N.C.

"You may agree, you may not disagree with her, but she was an inspiration to a tremendous amount of people; I say all Americans," Trump said opening the rally, noting Ginsburg's close relationship with late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

Seconds later, Trump said: "So, Article II of our constitution says the president shall nominate justices of the Supreme Court."

"I don't think it can be any more clear, can it? I don't think so," Trump said to a cheering crowd.

The president said his campaign may start selling shirts with the phrase "Fill that seat" and had the crowd vote on whether he should nominate a man or a woman by cheering.

"Fill that seat, that's the new chant now," Trump said.

Ginsburg's death Friday evening immediately sparked a partisan battle over the fate of the vacancy on the conservative-majority court.

Trump and Senate GOP leaders indicated they are eager to fill the seat, a reversal from 2016 when the Senate GOP blocked then-President Obama's nominee Merrick Garland arguing at the time that Supreme Court vacancies should not be filled in election years.

Some moderate Republicans, such as Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), were less eager to weigh in. Collins indicated Saturday that she does not support a Senate vote this year, which Trump pointed out during the rally.

"We have some senators that, you know," Trump said. "I won't say it, Susan, I won't say it."

Trump praised Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), another vulnerable Republican, for indicating he supports voting on a Trump nominee this year. GOP Sens. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) - two more Republicans facing a tight reelection in swing states - have also endorsed moving to fill the vacancy this year.

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