Chris Ruddy, a confidant of President Donald Trump, told Business Insider in a Monday interview that Trump should cut a deal with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. His proposition: Replace her on the bench with Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s choice to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacated seat in 2016.
Ruddy, who wrote about his opposition to the Senate’s invoking the so-called nuclear option to help get Judge Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court, said Trump nominating Garland to the court would be a “huge move.”
“I think they made a big mistake by pulling the nuclear option,” Ruddy said. “I wrote about it. I said they should not have done it. I think that he still should pick Merrick Garland and do a deal. Ruth Bader Ginsburg wants to retire, and I think they should swap her out, give her an offer where they would put Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court.”
“They would remove a very liberal Democrat with a moderate, consensus Democrat, who I think Garland is,” Ruddy added. “And I think it would be a huge move and a sign for Trump that he’s willing to break through the political ice.”
Ruddy pointed to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is rumored to be considering retirement from the court, as the next justice who could feasibly be replaced by a more conservative, “Gorsuch-like nominee.”
The Newsmax CEO, who is also a member of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, visited Trump in the Oval Office after the president delivered his February address to a joint session of Congress. Ruddy, who has known Trump for more than a decade, says he speaks often with the president.