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Lawmakers React To Death Of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday at the age of 87.
Sarah Silbiger
Getty Images
Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday at the age of 87.

Reactions to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death Friday focused, in large part, on how the court vacancy should be filled and whether President Trump, who is up for reelection on Nov. 3, could justifiably seek to appoint a new justice to the court so close to the election.

"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," Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wrote on Twitter.

The quote is a direct callback to a remark made by his Republican counterpart on the Senate, Mitch McConnell, who famously blocked the nomination of Merrick Garland to the court, following the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.

McConnell on Friday evening said the nation mourned the "conclusion of [Ginsburg's] extraordinary American life." But the controversial Republican concluded his statement saying: "President Trump's nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate."

Ginsburg, a champion for women's rights and social justice, died from complications from cancer on Friday at age 87, the Supreme Court announced. It was her fifth bout with the disease that was also responsible for the death of her mother.

Shortly before her death, in a statement dictated to her granddaughter, the liberal firebrand said: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

Many remembered Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the nation's highest court, as a paragon of integrity and legal skill.

"The loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is devastating," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement. "Justice Ginsburg embodied justice, brilliance and goodness, and her passing is an incalculable loss for our democracy and for all who sacrifice and strive to build a better future for our children."

She added, "We must honor Justice Ginsburg's trailblazing career and safeguard her powerful legacy by ensuring that the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court upholds her commitment to equality, opportunity and justice for all."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alana Wise joined WAMU in September 2018 as the 2018-2020 Audion Reporting Fellow for Guns & America. Selected as one of 10 recipients nationwide of the Audion Reporting Fellowship, Alana works in the WAMU newsroom as part of a national reporting project and is spending two years focusing on the impact of guns in the Washington region.
Alana Wise
Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.
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