“We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices,” Trump said in a tweet Saturday. “We have this obligation, without delay!”
Ginsburg, a liberal icon who had served on the nation’s highest court since 1993, died Friday at 87 from complications of cancer.
Just days before her death, Ginsburg dictated a statement to her granddaughter saying that her most “fervent wish” was to not be replaced “until a new president is installed.”
But with less than two months before the next presidential election, Trump on Saturday made clear he plans to push forward in replacing the justice before he himself is potentially replaced. Ginsburg’s death could also spell calamity for the election should it become mired in legal disputes that must be decided by the Supreme Court.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wasted no time on Friday night saying that he would push the chamber to move forward on replacing Ginsburg as soon as Trump offers a nominee. Trump’s pick “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” McConnell said in a statement.
Nine months before the 2016 election, McConnell made the unprecedented decision to block then-President Barack Obama from filling the Supreme Court opening created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia because, he argued, the next president should get to pick the nominee. McConnell insists the current situation is different, sloughing off charges that he is engaging in an act of hypocrisy of historic proportions.
“Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague,” Chief Justice John Roberts (R) said in a statement following news of Ginsburg’s death. “Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”