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The Debate

Game changer? The battle over Trump's third Supreme Court pick

THE DEBATE
THE DEBATE © FRANCE 24
By: François PICARD Follow | Charles WENTE | Juliette LAURAIN
44 min

Does the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg ensure Donald Trump's legacy? The US president says that by the end of the week, he will nominate a new Supreme Court justice. If the Republican-controlled Senate approves his pick, whether or not Trump's out of a job on November 4, he will have chosen three of the nine justices on the bench. We are talking about lifetime appointments that for decades could shape arguments over deregulation, healthcare, voting rights, protection of minorities and abortion.

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The stakes could not be higher nor more dramatic: just how much of an icon was Ginsburg to many Americans is a question we put to our panel. Her death comes as some states have already started early voting. In a year of Covid, wildfires and Black Lives Matter protests, will RBG's legacy and the fight over her succession instantly become the issue of the campaign?

More broadly, what does it say about the state of democracy in America ahead of an election that might well be decided in the courts? Are US institutions – based on a 231-year-old constitution – solid enough to withstand the partisan power plays unfolding?

Produced by Charles Wente, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz. 

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