Ginsburg Absence Fuels Speculation of Third Trump Nominee

Sen. Lindsay Graham is already answering questions about a possible third Supreme Court nominee under President Donald Trump.

“If there's an opening on this court, I'm going to be hell bent to put a conservative to replace whoever steps down for whatever reason,”the South Carolina Republican told "Fox News Sunday."

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is missing this week's oral arguments to recover from lung cancer surgery.

Her absence has touched off a burst of speculation about the possibility of her departure, which would re-ignite a Kavanaugh-like battle between Republicans and Democrats ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

“Whatever fireworks there were for Justice Kennedy's seat would be even greater for the next seat, Justice Ginsburg or otherwise,” says Josh Blackman, constitutional law professor at South Texas College of Law Houston.

He says its unlikely Senate Republicans would delay a confirmation like they did when Obama nominated a replacement for Justice Scalia.

“We're not quite in an election year yet, but I'm sure the Democrats will try to call hypocrisy on having any sort of a Supreme Court replacement, at least in a presidential cycle.”

If Trump gets a third nomination, Blackman says the court would be decidedly conservative for decades to come.

“One thing is for certain, the court will not drift toward the left and the sort of cases that liberal causes of won in recent years involving abortion and gay rights, probably would not go in that direction going forward.”

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