Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies with her family around her at home after succumbing to pancreatic cancer at 87 after saying: ‘My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed’
- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died aged 87 after a battle with metastatic pancreas cancer
- She passed away surrounded by her family at her home in Washington D.C., the Supreme Court announced
- Ginsburg leaves behind two children, four grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and one great-grandchild
- She battled cancer many times after being diagnosed in 2009 and said in July she was having chemotherapy
- The New Yorker was the second woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice and championed women’s rights
- The Democrat was appointed by President Clinton in 1993 and served for 27 years on the highest court
- Her death paves the way for Donald Trump to expand his conservative majority on the Supreme Court
- Days earlier she said her ‘most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed’
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died aged 87 after a battle with metastatic pancreas cancer, the Supreme Court has announced.
The Democrat judge, only the second woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice, passed away Friday evening surrounded by her family at her home in Washington D.C. following complications with her illness.
Ginsburg, who served for 27 years on the highest court of the land, had battled several bouts of cancer after first being diagnosed back in 2009.
She announced in July she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for lesions on her liver.
Politicians from both sides of the political divide paid tribute to the Justice, while hundreds of people gathered in front of the US Supreme Court Friday night.
Her death paves the way for Donald Trump to expand his conservative majority on the Supreme Court ahead of November’s election.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died aged 87 after a battle with metastatic pancreas cancer. She is pictured at one of her last public appearances in February.
Ginsburg, the leader of the court’s four-member liberal wing, voiced concerns about the political impact of her passing in the days leading up to her death.
‘My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,’ the legal pioneer said in a statement dictated to her granddaughter Clara Spera days before her death.
President Donald Trump led the tributes, describing Ginsburg as a ‘titan of the law’ whose legal expertise and historic decisions inspired generations of Americans.
‘Today, our nation mourns the loss of a titan of the law’ who was ‘renowned for her brilliant mind and her powerful dissents at the Supreme Court,’ Trump said in a statement, after a rally in Minnesota.
‘Her opinions, including well-known decisions regarding the legal equality of women and the disabled, have inspired all Americans, and generations of great legal minds,’ he added.
‘May her memory be a great and magnificent blessing to the world.’
Chief Justice John Roberts paid tribute to his colleague Friday describing her as a ‘champion of justice’.
‘Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,’ Roberts said in a statement.
‘We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tired and resolute champion of justice.’
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called Ginsburg ‘not only a giant in the legal profession but a beloved figure’ who ‘stood for all of us’ in an interview on CNN.
He tweeted: ‘Ruth Bader Ginsburg stood for all of us. She was an American hero, a giant of legal doctrine, and a relentless voice in the pursuit of that highest American ideal: Equal Justice Under Law. May her memory be a blessing to all people who cherish our Constitution and its promise.’
And he insisted a new justice should not be chosen until after the election in November and said this was the process followed in 2016.
‘There is no doubt – let me be clear – that the voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider,’ he said to CNN
‘This was the position that the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go.’
The US Supreme Court (front left to right) Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., (back left to right) Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Elena Kagan and Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh pose for their official portrait at the Supreme Court building November 2018
Tributes poured in from both sides of the political line for Ginsburg, a legal pioneer dubbed the Notorious RBG.
Former presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George Bush and Jimmy Carter, as well as politicians including Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo all paid their respects to the New York great.
The White House lowered its flags to half staff and social media users pointed out that in Jewish tradition, a person who dies on Rosh Hashanah – which started tonight – is regarded as a person of great righteousness.
Hillary Clinton tweeted that Ginsburg, a staunch advocate for women’s rights, paved the way for other women to succeed.
‘Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me. There will never be another like her. Thank you RBG,’ Clinton wrote.
Bill Clinton, who appointed Ginsburg to the Supreme Court during his White house tenure, also tweeted calling her ‘one of the most extraordinary Justices’.
‘We have lost one of the most extraordinary Justices ever to serve on the Supreme Court,’ he wrote.
‘Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life and landmark opinions moved us closer to a more perfect union. And her powerful dissents reminded us that we walk away from our Constitution’s promise at our peril.’
Barack Obama penned a Medium blog commemorating the strides Ginsburg made for gender equality and saying he ‘admired her greatly’.
‘Sixty years ago, Ruth Bader Ginsburg applied to be a Supreme Court clerk. She’d studied at two of our finest law schools and had ringing recommendations,’ he wrote.
‘But because she was a woman, she was rejected. Ten years later, she sent her first brief to the Supreme Court — which led it to strike down a state law based on gender discrimination for the first time.
‘And then, for nearly three decades, as the second woman ever to sit on the highest court in the land, she was a warrior for gender equality — someone who believed that equal justice under law only had meaning if it applied to every single American.’
Obama went on to write that Trump must not appoint a new justice until after the election because the Republcas refused to allow Obama to do the same thing back in 2016.
‘Four and a half years ago, when Republicans refused to hold a hearing or an up-or-down vote on Merrick Garland, they invented the principle that the Senate shouldn’t fill an open seat on the Supreme Court before a new president was sworn in,’ he wrote.
‘A basic principle of the law — and of everyday fairness — is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment… As votes are already being cast in this election, Republican Senators are now called to apply that standard.’
Obama planned to appoint Merrick Garland to the court after Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016.
Republicans refused to hold hearings or vote on a replacement until after a new president took office with Mitch McConnell saying: ‘the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.’
The seat was not filled and two weeks after taking office Trump appointed his own choice Neil Gorsuch to the court instead.
Former president George Bush also paid tribute to Ginsburg in a statement Friday.
‘Laura and I join our fellow Americans in mourning the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She dedicated many of her 87 remarkable years to the pursuit of justice and equality, and she inspired more than one generation of women and girls,’ he said.
The judge, only the second woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice, passed away Friday evening surrounded by her family at her home in Washington D.C. following complications with her illness, the court said in a statement
‘Justice Ginsburg loved our country and the law. Laura and I are fortunate to have known this smart and humorous trailblazr, and we send our condolences to the Ginsburg family’.
Former president Jimmy Carter also paid tribute to the ‘powerful legal mind and a staunch advocate for gender equality’.
‘Rosalynn and I are saddened by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A powerful legal mind and a staunch advocate for gender equality, she has been a beacon of justice during her long and remarkable career,’ he said in a statement.
‘I was proud to have appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980. We join countless Americans in mourning the loss of a truly great woman.
‘We will keep her family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.’
Bernie Sanders called the passing of the ‘extraordinary champion of justice and equal rights’ a ‘tremendous loss’ to America.
‘Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was one of the great justices in modern American history and her passing is a tremendous loss to our country,’ he tweeted.
‘She will be remembered as an extraordinary champion of justice and equal rights.’
The president told reporters that he didn’t know Ginsburg had died when a reporter asked him for comment as he boarded a plane Friday evening.
‘She just died? Wow. I didn’t know that, you’re telling me now for the first time,’ he said.
‘She led an amazing life. She was an amazing woman.’
Trump was on stage when the Justice’s death was announced and carried on with his campaign rally apparently unaware of the news.
However while on stage – and moments after the Supreme Court announced her death – he reeled off his list of potential Supreme Court nominees for if and when a seat became available.
A supporter in the crowd shouted out that Ginsburg had died during his rally.
Meanwhile the White House flag was lowered to half staff and his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows tweeted a tribute to the ‘trailblazer’ and ‘dedicated public servant’.
When asked about her death by reporters, Trump said after the event: ‘She just died? Wow. I didn’t know that, you’re telling me now for the first time.’
He then paused and held his hands in the air before paying tribute to Ginsburg – who he had a fraught relationship with since he moved in to the White House.
‘She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman whether you agreed [with her] or not. She was an amazing who led an amazing life.
There was no mention of the next steps in appointing a successor.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke of the state’s heartbreak over the loss of one of its own.
‘NY’s heart breaks with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,’ the Democrat tweeted.
‘During her extraordinary career, this Brooklyn native broke barriers & the letters RBG took on new meaning—as battle cry & inspiration. Her legal mind & dedication to justice leave an indelible mark on America.’
Washington Governor Jay Inslee, also a Democrat, described her as an ‘American hero’ and demanded that her ‘dying wish’ to not be replaced on the bench until after the election be respected.
He tweeted: ‘We have lost an American hero and a giant of justice.
‘May we honor Justice Ginsburg’s legacy by fighting for the civil rights of all Americans and respect her dying wish that she ‘will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
Tributes poured in from Democrats including Hillary Clinton, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Washington Governor Jay Inslee
Former presidents George Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter also paid tribute to the legal pioneer Friday
His words were echoed by Senator Cory Booker who urged the nation to carry on ‘her legacy of fairness and equality’.
‘Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a true giant, an American hero and a warrior for justice,’ Booker tweeted.
‘Our country mourns her loss deeply—we must honor her by carrying on her legacy of fairness and equality.’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said flags over the Capitol would be flown at half staff in Ginsburg’s honor.
‘Tonight, the flags are flying at half staff over the Capitol to honor the patriotism of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,’ she tweeted.
‘Every woman and girl, and therefore every family, in America has benefitted from her brilliance.’
Elizabeth Warren remembered her ‘friend’ for her ‘wit, her tenaciousness, and her skill as a jurist’.
Meanwhile Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called her a ‘giant in the history of our nation’ and called on Americans to ‘fight’.
Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted that he was filled with ‘great sadness’ at the news and that despite their ‘many differences’ he ‘appreciate[d] her service to our nation’.
‘It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Justice Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer who possessed tremendous passion for her causes. She served with honor and distinction as a member of the Supreme Court,’ he wrote.
‘While I had many differences with her on legal philosophy, I appreciate her service to our nation. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. May she Rest In Peace.’
Trump’s former adviser and 2016 campaign manager Kellyanne Conway tweeted that she led a ‘remarkable life of consequence’ and ‘inspired many women’.
Tributes also poured in from those on the other side of the political spectrum
President Trump’s estranged niece Mary Trump urged Americans to continue her ‘fight for our country’.
‘Take a moment. Breathe. And then we fight for our country the way she always did for us. Or we will lose everything,’ she wrote on Twitter.
Hundreds of people gathered in front of the US Supreme Court Friday night after news broke of her death.
Mourners sat on the steps of the court – wearing face masks and bringing flowers – to pay tribute to the justice.
Ginsburg’s death gives Trump the opportunity to name her successor at a critical time just weeks before the nation heads to the polls.
The president has already appointed two members of the Supreme Court, Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, in a move that pushes the court increasingly right wing.
The replacement of Ginsburg, a Democrat and women’s rights champion, by another Republican will leave the court Democrats outnumbered, with six Republicans to their three.
A debate is expected to ensue over whether Trump should nominate her successor or leave the seat vacant until after the outcome of the election.
Senator Chuck Schumer tweeted Friday after the news broke of Ginsburg’s death that the position should not be filled until the White House race was over.
‘The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,’ he tweeted.
‘Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement saying the Senate and nation mourns for Ginsburg, but insisted Trump’s nominee would be voted for by the Senate.
‘The Senate and the nation mourn the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life,’ he tweeted.
‘President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.’
McConnell’s statement backtracks on his stance in 2016 when Obama put forward a nominee to fill a seat and he said a vote or hearing must not be held until the American people had spoken in the election.
Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Clinton in 1993 and has served more than 27 years.
She leaves behind her two children Jane Carol Ginsburg and James Steven Ginsburg, four grandchildren Paul Spera, Clara Spera, Miranda Ginsburg and Abigail Ginsburg, two step-grandchildren Harjinder Bedi and Satinder Bedi, and one great-grandchild Lucrezia Spera.
Her husband Martin David Ginsburg died in 2010.
Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York, on March 15 1933.
Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Clinton in 1993 and has served more than 27 years
Ginsburg leaves behind her two children, four grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and one great-grandchild
Incredible life of the woman who became the Notorious RBG: How Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Brooklyn-born daughter of Russian Jewish migrants became a trailblazer, the second woman to serve as Supreme Court Justice and a feminist pop culture icon
by Dusica Sue Malesevic for DailyMail.com
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice, a legal pioneer who broke barriers for women in law, a feminist icon to many, and the recent pop culture phenomenon known as the ‘Notorious RBG’ has died. She was 87.
The collar-wearing octogenarian captured the public’s imagination – especially for those on the left who offered everything from kale to protective bubbles to later on wearing masks on social media to safeguard her continued tenure on the highest court in the land. The list of things that Ginsburg inspired is long: two films, memes that range from the ribald to inspirational, mountains of memorabilia from t-shirts to totes, cocktails, a book on her workout, and even tattoos.
But beyond the persona of the ‘Notorious RBG’ and her groundbreaking law career, Ginsburg was a mother of two, had two grandchildren, and was married to her husband Martin D. Ginsburg for 56 years until his death in 2010. She blazed a path for women in the legal profession, and at five-foot-one had become a towering figure in Washington, D.C.
Ginsburg battled several bouts of cancer after being first diagnosed in 2009.
The Ginsburg family, above, in a photo taken in 1958. Martin D. Ginsburg (left) and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (right) with their daughter Jane C. Ginsburg (center). Jane C. Ginsburg followed in her mother’s steps and became a lawyer after graduating from Harvard Law School, and currently teaches at Columbia Law School
Born on March 15, 1933 in Brooklyn, Joan Ruth Bader was the second daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants, Celia and Nathan Bader. Her older sister, who would later die at aged six from meningitis, nicknamed her ‘Kiki’ for apparently being ‘a kicky baby.’ Her mother, Celia, a garment factory worker, would encourage Ruth – she went by her middle name to distinguish herself from the other Joans in her Brooklyn class – to attain a higher level of education than she did.
‘My mother told me two things constantly. One was to be a lady, and the other was to be independent. The study of law was unusual for women of my generation. For most girls growing up in the ’40s, the most important degree was not your BA, but your MRS,’ she recalled to the ACLU, referring to the idea that women went to college to land a man, get married and become a missus – not to get a bachelor’s degree.
Her mother died from cancer right before Ginsburg graduated from high school.
In 1950, Ginsburg started attending Cornell University where she would meet her husband, Martin D. Ginsburg, during a literature class taught by famous novelist Vladimir Nabokov, according to the biography called ‘Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life’ by Jane Sherron De Hart.
Martin was able to answer Nabokov’s quiz question about Charles Dickens, and Ginsburg was smitten, later saying that Martin was the ‘the only young man I dated who cared that I had a brain.’
‘Meeting Marty was by far the most fortunate thing that ever happened to me,’ Ginsburg said in one of the films about her, the documentary ‘RBG.’ ‘Marty was a man blessed with a wonderful sense of humor. I tend to be rather sober.’
At aged 21, Ginsburg, who majored in government, graduated at the top of her class in 1954 at Cornell and married Martin soon after. Their first child, Jane C. Ginsburg, was born on July 21, 1955. Due to Martin’s military service, they moved to Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
‘After dinner, the newlyweds often spent their evenings reading aloud to each other from Pepys, Tolstoy, Dickens and even Spinoza, although the philosopher was tougher fare,’ De Hart wrote, according to a Washington Post article about the biography.
De Hart emphasized Marty’s ‘proto-feminism’ in the 1950s, and the couple decided they both would pursue careers. After two years in Oklahoma, Ginsburg and Martin went to Harvard Law School in 1956. Women had only started being admitted to the law school six years earlier, and Ginsburg was one of nine women in a class of about 500.
Martin graduated from Harvard in 1958 and practiced tax law in New York. Ginsburg switched schools, attending Columbia Law School to be close to her husband. In 1959, she graduated with her law degree, a Juris Doctor, from Columbia, and was tied for first in her class.
Despite the credentials, Ginsburg, now 26, was still a woman and she had a hard time finding a place at a law firm after graduation.
‘You think about what would have happened… Suppose I had gotten a job as a permanent associate. Probably I would have climbed up the ladder and today I would be a retired partner. So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great good fortune,’ Ginsburg said during the documentary series, ‘Makers: Women Who Make America.’
Ginsburg was also rejected for a Supreme Court clerkship due to being a woman. But there were successes as well: she was the first female member of the Harvard Law Review and was elected to the Columbia Law Review as well. Eventually, Ginsburg landed a clerkship for a judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.
After two years with the Southern District, Ginsburg was a research associate and associate director for the Project of International Procedure at Columbia Law School. She also learned Swedish, and conducted research in Sweden for a book that she co-authored on civil procedure in the country.
In 1963, she started teaching at Rutgers University School of Law when there were few female law professors. Also during this time, she and Martin had their second child, James S. Ginsburg, on September 8, 1965. She taught at Rutgers until 1972 and then moved to Columbia Law School, where, at aged 39, she was the first woman put on a tenure track.
She taught at Columbia for eight years, co-authored a law school book, and also worked as general counsel for the ACLU, where she argued several hundred gender discrimination cases, six of which were before the Supreme Court.
By 1980, Ginsburg, then 47, was selected to be a judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is often a springboard to the Supreme Court. After thirteen years as a judge on that court, President Bill Clinton nominated the 60-year-old Ginsburg for the Supreme Court after Justice Byron White said he was retiring.
On August 10, 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice – the second woman appointed to the court. Pictured above is Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist (right) swearing Ginsburg (with arm raised) in while her husband Martin D. Ginsburg (second from right) and President Bill Clinton (left) look on
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (left) with her husband Martin D. Ginsburg (right). At the announcement for her nomination to the Supreme Court on on June 14, 1993, Ginsburg said: ‘Most closely, I have been aided by my life’s partner, Martin D. Ginsburg, who has been, since our teenage years, my best friend and biggest booster’
WHO’S WHO ON TRUMP’S SUPREME COURT SHORTLIST:
Ted Cruz, Texas. 49
Josh Hawley, Missouri. 40
Tom Cotton, Arkansas. 43
Bridget Bade, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 54
Stuart Kyle Duncan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. 48
James Ho, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 47
Gregory Katsas, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 56
Barbara Lagoa, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. 52
Carlos Muñiz, Supreme Court of Florida. 51
Martha Pacold, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. 41
Peter Phipps, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. 47
Sarah Pitlyk, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. 43
Allison Jones Rushing, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. 38
Lawrence VanDyke, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 47
CURRENT AND FORMER REPUBLICAN OFFICIALS
Daniel Cameron, Kentucky Attorney General. 34
Paul Clement, partner with Kirkland & Ellis, former solicitor general. 54
Steven Engel, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. 46
Noel Francisco, former U.S. solicitor general. 51
Christopher Landau, U.S. ambassador to Mexico. 56
Kate Todd, deputy White House counsel. 45
‘The announcement of this vacancy,’ Clinton said on June 14, 1993, according to a YouTube video courtesy of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library, ‘brought forth a unique outpouring of support for distinguished Americans on Judge Ginsburg’s behalf. What caused that outpouring is the essential quality of the judge herself: her deep respect for others and her willingness to subvert self-interest to the interest of our people and their institutions.’
At the announcement, Ginsburg said: ‘Most closely, I have been aided by my life’s partner, Martin D. Ginsburg, who has been, since our teenage years, my best friend and biggest booster.’
On August 4, 1993, the US Senate confirmed her by a vote of 96 to 3, the New York Times reported. She was sworn in as a justice on August 10, 1993.
Later in October 1993, a photo shows Ginsburg and her family at the court. Her daughter, Jane C. Ginsburg, followed in her footsteps, graduating from Harvard Law School, and currently teaches at Columbia Law School. She married George T. Spera Jr and they have two children together: Paul Spera, who is an actor, and Clara Spera, who is also a lawyer and clerked for the US District of the Southern District of New York.
Ginsburg told the New Republic that her grandchildren loved the fact that she had become an Internet sensation.
‘At my advanced age – I’m now an octogenarian – I’m constantly amazed by the number of people who want to take my picture,’ she said in 2014.
Not only did people want their photo taken, an interest in her workout also took hold. In her eighties, Ginsburg would do exercises such as a wall squat with a yoga ball. So much so that her trainer of many years, Bryant Johnson, wrote the book ‘The RBG Workout.’
When Ginsburg joined the court in 1993, Sandra Day O’Connor had already been on it since 1981. Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, nominated by President Ronald Reagan. Ginsburg called O’Connor a mentor, and Ginsburg told The Washington Post that they ‘thought it would be appropriate if we included as part of our robe something typical of a woman.
‘So I have many, many collars.’
Fans of Ginsburg have parsed her collars, which were sometimes lace, gold embellished and beaded. One was dubbed ‘the dissenter.’
A feminist icon to many, Ginsburg told ‘Makers,’ the documentary series, that feminism is ‘that notion that we should each be free to develop our own talents, whatever they may be, and not be held back by artificial barriers – manmade barriers, certainly not heaven sent.’ After O’Connor retired in early 2006, Ginsburg was the only woman on the court until Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed on August 8, 2009. Ginsburg was also close to conservative justice Antonin Scalia until his death in February 2016.
‘We care about this institution more than our individual egos and we are all devoted to keeping the Supreme Court in the place that it is, as a co-equal third branch of government and I think a model for the world in the collegiality and independence of judges,’ Ginsburg said on C-SPAN.
In 2015, Ginsburg told MSNBC how she would liked to be remembered.
‘Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has. To do something, as my colleague David Souter would say, outside myself. ‘Cause I’ve gotten much more satisfaction for the things that I’ve done for which I was not paid.’
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s last wish was NOT to be replaced until ‘new president is installed’ – setting up extraordinary political crisis as Mitch McConnell vows Donald Trump’s nominee ‘will receive a vote’ in the Senate
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death at 87 sets in motion a monumental political fight in the final weeks before the elections – amid her dying wish that President Donald Trump not nominate her successor.
News of Ginsburg’s death broke Friday night while Trump, who she has sparred with publicly and ruled against repeatedly, was in the midst of a typical campaign rally where he blasted immigration from Somalia and heralded the National Guard imposing order on Minneapolis.
Early tributes and obituaries for Ginsburg, a stalwart member of the court’s left wing, revealed he had not held back views of what the future might hold for her seat. She dictated a message to her granddaughter Clara Spera.
‘My most fervent wish is that I I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.,’ she said.
It is a wish that Ginsburg and other liberals can’t control. The key decision maker is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who held up President Barack Obama’s high court nominee for nearly a year.
Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, never got a hearing after Obama nominated him following the death of Judge Antonin Scalia.
But Republicans have changed the rules on filibusters for Supreme Court Justices, and McConnell has changed his line with his own party in control of the White House. ‘Oh, we’d fill it,’ he said when asked about the hypothetical.
McConnell left no doubt Friday night that Trump would act – but did not say when. ‘President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,’ McConnell said.
McConnell’s statement referenced the GOP keeping its majority, which was 52-48 heading into 2018, a number they increased by one, with a slate of Democrats running in tough territory.
‘In the last midterm election before Justice Scalia’s death in 2016, Americans elected a Republican Senate majority because we pledged to check and balance the last days of a lame-duck president’s second term. We kept our promise. Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year,’ he said.
‘By contrast, Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary. Once again, we will keep our promise. President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,’ he said.
Republicans, who hold a 53-vote majority in the Senate can try to schedule a hearing on a nominee and push through a vote before the elections, or during a ‘lame duck’ session immediately afterward. The vacancy is certain to put the squeeze on some Senate Republicans in tight races, including Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
Other Senate Republicans in tight races include Thom Tillis in North Carolina, Martha McSally in Arizona, and Cory Gardner in Colorado. All have been down in the polls.
The president has already appointed two members of the Supreme Court, Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, in moves that pushes the court increasingly to the right and maintained its 5-4 conservative majority.
After suffering a handful of high-profile defeats this summer, Trump has complained about Chief Justice John Roberts. He has spoken about the importance of court in the upcoming elections, and recently released a list of conservative nominees he says he will draw from.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows issued a statement mourning the loss of Ginsburg, without delving into the high-stakes tactics ahead.
‘Joining the whole nation tonight in mourning the loss of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—a trailblazer, a dedicated public servant, and an inspiration to so many. My prayers are with her family and friends,’ he said.
He sometimes says the next president could appoint one, two, three or even four justices to the court.
The vacancy is certain to add even more urgency to the already hard-fought election.
Republicans credit the political heat over the Scalia seat with helping drive turnout and enthusiasm among base supporters who gave Donald Trump an edge.
President Trump spoke about his court nominees minutes after the news of Ginsburg’s death.
‘We have about 45 unbelievable people.,’ he said. The
Conservative they believe in the Constitution, okay,’ he said.
‘I have to have somebody that we can make sure we get approved,’ Trump said. Then he spoke about Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who was on the list Trump released.
‘The only one I can think of is Ted, because he’s going to get 50 Republican votes and 50 Democrat votes, they’ll do anything to get him out of the Senate,’ he said.
Many Democrats have never forgiven McConnell, who has a reputation as an institutionalist, for killing the Garland nomination.
‘The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,’ McConnell said explaining the hold-up, in a comment former Obama communications director Dan Pfieffer tweeted Friday night.
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Charles Schumer tweeted his own statement Friday night that quoted McConnell word-for-word but did not mention his name. ‘The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,’ said Schumer.
A range of senators may be faced with having to explain past comments from related situations. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump loyalist who nevertheless has previously backed some Democratic Supreme Court picks, was direct defending the delay of the Garland nomination. He said in 2018 he would apply the same principle under Trump.
‘If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait to the next election,’ Graham said.
Graham, the Senate Judiciary chairman, is up for reelection in a Republican-leaning state, but a recent poll had him tied against Democrat Jamie Harrison. McConnell is also up for reelection in conservative Kentucky.
Former Watergate figure John Dean, a strong Trump critic, called for Democrats to immediately turn to pressure tactics to avoid getting steamrolled. Under parliamentary changes Republicans pushed through, the minority can’t filibuster a Supreme Court nominee. (Democrats pushed through a similar change for lower court nominations).
‘.@JoeBiden must announce that if the GOP rushes to pack the Court, the Dems will expand the SCOTUS to 11 justices, and expand the lower federal courts by 70 to 100 new judgeships, which have long been needed. In short, he will depoliticize the federal judiciary!’ Dean wrote.P Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska told Alaska Public Media hours before Ginsburg’s death that she wouldn’t vote to confirm a Supreme Court Justice until after Election Day.