Air Force Two made an emergency landing with Vice President Mike Pence on board on Tuesday, within minutes of taking off. The aircraft most likely struck a bird, according to a report by The Associated Press. Pence and everyone else on the plane were unharmed.
Air Foce Two was leaving New Hampshire's Manchester-Boston Regional Airport on Tuesday evening after a campaign event, and heading back to Washingon, D.C. Shortly after take-off, an impact startled the pilot, who turned the plane around out of an abundance of caution. Administration officials said that 61-year-old Pence was in no danger.
Pence was returning from a campaign rally for the 2020 presidential election in Gilford, New Hampshire, where he told the gathered voters that President Donald Trump would name his new Supreme Court appointee on Saturday. Pence was confident that the new judge would be confirmed by a vote in the United states Senate, despite the overwhelming political controversy.
Pence also said that Trump's appointee would be a woman, narrowing the field of possible selections that was published earlier this month. He emphasized that she would be politically conservative, tipping the judicial branch of the U.S. government even further to the right.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on Friday at the age of 87, following a prolonged battle with cancer. Many lawmakers are now saying that the next president should be the one to choose Ginsburg's replacement, based on the precedent set by Republican senators in 2016. At the time, Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in March, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to bring former President Barack Obama's appointee to a vote, arguing that it was too close to the 2016 presidential election.
Now, with the election less than two months away, many politicians are calling hypocrisy on McConnell, Trump, Pence and other Republican leaders for their haste to install a new Supreme Court justice. On top of that, many Americans in dire need of coronavirus aid are furious that this Supreme Court issue is now stealing focus from the negotiations for another stimulus check.
Political pundits and some lawmakers have identified steps that Democrats could take to try to stop Republicans from appointing a new judge, but so far the party's leaders have not confirmed nor denied their intentions. In the meantime, Trump and McConnell are pushing forward as planned. According to the latest report by The Guardian, national polls show former Vice President Joe Biden with a considerable lead over Trump in the 2020 presidential election.