Nation mourns Justice Ginsburg as politics shape replacement fight
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) announced today that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died from metastatic pancreatic cancer at the age of 87. She’ll be interred at a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery later this week.
Talk already swirls about a possible Trump-nominated replacement for her.
Ginsburg left a strong progressive legacy with the court and was greatly admired as a role model for young women, as well as a staunch critic of constitutional conservatives.
“The diminutive New York native leaves behind an enormous influence on the law as the nation’s preeminent litigator for women’s rights, a federal appeals court judge, a Supreme Court justice for 27 years and, most recently, as the leader of the high court’s liberal bloc, where she served as a bulwark against an increasingly conservative majority,” says USA Today.
Outpourings of grief from her death have been mixed with calls by liberals for the president to wait to nominate her replacement until after the election.
Twitter users are asserting that her dying words were: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” However, it is unclear where that report originates.
But given the election calculus, the odds are that Trump will nominate a replacement promptly.
“Ginsburg’s death comes just weeks before Democrats hope to win the White House and potentially a Senate majority,” says USA Today. “But Republicans will hold the Senate at least until Jan. 3, and Trump the presidency at least until Jan. 20, giving them a chance to gain a 6-3 conservative majority on the court.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has promised before that he would promptly fill any vacancy on the Supreme Court. Previous rules in the Senate required a super-majority to bring a nomination to a vote, but the changes in 2013 and 2017 require just a simple majority, which Republicans now hold, to bring the Supreme Court nomination to a vote. An hour after Ginsburg’s death was made public, McConnell shared that he intended to keep his promise, and announced that the Senate will vote on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee.
“The Senate and the nation mourn the sudden passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life,” McConnell said in the statement.
Ostensibly, a Trump replacement on the Supreme Court would give conservatives a 6-3 majority versus the 5-4 conservative-liberal mix that made up the court prior to Ginsburg’s death.
The White House ordered flags at half-staff to honor the memory of Justice Ginsburg.
“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,” said White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
President Trump was on stage at a campaign rally at the time Ginsburg’s death and is expected to make a statement shortly.
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