MADISON, Wis. — Donald Trump has announced, via Twitter, he intends to reveal his nominee to fill a vacancy on the United States Supreme Court next Thursday. Trump’s pronouncement comes amid serious scrutiny by the U.S. Senate over Russian interference in the presidential election and questions and legal action over the possibility that, through his business interests, he is in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s provisions banning a sitting president from receiving money from foreign governments.
“It is an outrageous affront to democracy that Donald Trump, with the legitimacy of his administration and his possible violation of the Constitution under such serious questions, would presume to make a lifetime appointment to fill a court vacancy,” commented One Wisconsin Institute Research Director Jenni Dye. “If Trump won’t respect our democracy, our elected officials in the U.S. Senate need to do their jobs and stand up to him and to stand up for our Constitution.”
The continuing vacancy on the nation’s high court is a result of the death of Antonin Scalia nearly one year ago. Senate Republicans refused to do their duty under the Constitution and did not give a hearing or vote on the nomination submitted by President Barack Obama weeks after Scalia’s passing, with nearly a full year left in his term.
The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee has announced tat it will conduct an inquiry into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election with the intent of helping elect Donald Trump. Intelligence agencies have publicly released information that shows Russians hacked into the emails of the national Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton campaign staff and directed the release of damaging information with the intent of influencing the outcome of the election.
Trump is also the subject of litigation alleging he has run afoul of provisions of the U.S. Constitution. A lawsuit has been filed in federal court claiming he is potentially receiving money from foreign governments through his business interests. If true, Trump would be in violation of the emoluments clause that prohibits such transactions. Despite this cloud over him, he has failed to fully separate himself from his and his family’s business interests and refuses to release his tax returns to determine if he has financial ties to foreign governments.
Dye concluded, “No one in history has faced such serious questions about their presidency. Before we allow Donald Trump to leave his mark on the Supreme Court for decades, we have to know whether a foreign government put him in office and whether Trump is using his presidency to increase his personal fortune. The American people deserve answers.”