The claim: Trump nominates Biden to the Supreme Court
A claim posted to social media about President Donald Trump's plan to nominate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for the Supreme Court began as a story from a satirical website.
Trump plans to nominate Biden to fill the vacancy left by the late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg so that any sexual assault allegations against the former vice president will come to light, according to the claim. Ginsburg died Friday at the age of 87, USA TODAY reported.
The headline of the meme, posted to the Instagram account for thegaywhostrayed on Sept. 21, says "Dems" would be "forced" to accuse Biden of sexual assault during Biden's hypothetical Supreme Court confirmation process.
The meme hearkens back to the 2018 confirmation hearings for Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the then-D.C. Circuit Court judge who denied a decades-old claim of sexual assault. USA TODAY reported Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about allegedly being assaulted by Kavanaugh when they were both high school students in the 1980s.
Below the meme's headline is an image of Trump and Biden standing behind a podium. Biden's head appears to be superimposed over the body of whomever was originally pictured next to Trump.
"The master strikes again! No but really, I’ve never seen liberals work so hard to prevent a woman from getting a job. SAD!" thegaywhostrayed wrote in the post caption, in reference to, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the front-runner on Trump's short list of potential nominees to replace Ginsburg.
Barrett, an Indiana-based federal appeals court judge favored by the religious right, met with Trump at The White House on Monday, according to USA TODAY.
USA TODAY has also reported that Judge Barbara Lagoa, a federal appeals court judge from Florida, is also under serious consideration by Trump.
USA TODAY reached out to thegaywhostrayed for comment. The user sells pro-Trump and conservative-themed paraphernalia, according to a link in the bio for the Instagram account.
The claim is satirical 'news'
The meme is an exact copy of a headline posted to the Instagram account for The Babylon Bee, a satire "news" site.
"The Babylon Bee is the world’s best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims. We write satire about Christian stuff, political stuff, and everyday life," the website states.
The post, "Genius Trump Nominates Joe Biden To Supreme Court Forcing Dems To Accuse Him Of Sexual Assault," is a promotion for a fictional article posted to The Babylon Bee on Sept. 20, two days after Ginsburg's death.
Justices on RBG: 'A superb judge' who 'inspired us all'
"Trump has announced his pick for Supreme Court justice: Joe Biden. By nominating Biden, Trump has forced the Dems' hands, making them believe the sexual assault claims and allegations of inappropriate, creepy behavior against the former vice president," the article leads.
But Biden does not appear on a new list of 20 federal appeals and district court judges, senators and others released by the president earlier this month before Ginsburg's death as possible nominees to the Supreme Court, according to USA TODAY.
Other Instagram users appeared to get the claim's satirical bent. One even directly referenced its origins in a reply to thegaywhostrayed.
"Shouldn't you be crediting the Babylon Bee(?)" wrote user the.other.mikurr.
Our rating: False
We rate this claim FALSE, based on our research. The claim references an article posted to a satire website. Biden is not included on a new list of 20 people under consideration by Trump to nominate to the Supreme Court. And two federal appeals court judges are the current front-runners in Trump's decisionmaking process in selecting a nominee, USA TODAY has reported.
Our fact-check sources:
- USA TODAY, Sept. 9, 2020, "Trump unveils new list of potential Supreme Court nominees to boost his reelection campaign"
- USA TODAY, Sept. 20, 2020, "Ginsburg v. cancer was a 'remarkable fight': RBG battled five bouts of cancer over two decades"
- USA TODAY, Sept. 15, 2019, "Democratic presidential candidates want Kavanaugh impeached after newly surfaced sexual misconduct accusation"
- The Babylon Bee, Sept. 20, 2020, "Genius Trump Nominates Joe Biden To Supreme Court Forcing Dems To Accuse Him Of Sexual Assault"
- The Babylon Bee, retrieved Sept. 22, 2020, "About Us"
- USA TODAY, Sept. 18, 2020, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Second woman on Supreme Court had been nation's leading litigator for women's rights"
- USA TODAY, Sept. 22, 2020, "Front-runner for Supreme Court nomination to replace Ginsburg is a favorite of religious conservatives"
- USA TODAY, Sept. 20, 2020, "Trump eyes Cuban American judge from Florida for Supreme Court"
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: False claim that Trump nominated Biden to Supreme Court