“Renowned for her brilliant mind and her powerful dissents at the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg demonstrated that one can disagree without being disagreeable toward one’s colleagues or different points of view,” Trump said. “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.”
Read Trump’s full statement below:
The president was alerted to the justice’s death after a campaign rally Friday evening. Trump spoke for more than an hour after news of Ginsburg’s death broke, apparently unaware of what had happened.
“She just died? I didn’t know that,” Trump said. “She led an amazing life. What else can you say? Whether you agree or not ... she led an amazing life. I’m actually saddened to hear that.”
Ginsburg died Friday at age 87 due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. Her death, about six weeks before the presidential election, will have enormous political consequences. Trump will have the opportunity to name her replacement, leaving it up to the Republican-controlled Senate to decide whether to move forward with a nomination so close to the election.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement Friday he will allow a vote on a Trump nomination.
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” Ginsburg said in a statement to her granddaughter shortly before her death.
Trump for years held a grudge against the justice after she denounced him ahead of the 2016 election.
“I can’t imagine what this place would be ― I can’t imagine what the country would be ― with Donald Trump as our president,” Ginsburg told The New York Times in July 2016. “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be ― I don’t even want to contemplate that.”
She also called Trump a “faker” and criticized his “ego.”
Ginsburg, who was nominated in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, was the second woman to ever serve on the high court, after Sandra Day O’Connor. The liberal icon was particularly known for her decades of legal work on behalf of women’s rights.