Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish was to not have her vacancy on the Supreme Court filled until after the election, according to NPR, which reported the late justice dictated a statement to her granddaughter in the final days before her death.
News of the statement injects Ginsburg’s voice into what will surely be a fierce partisan battle over the open Supreme Court seat ahead of November’s presidential election.
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed," Ginsburg told her granddaughter, Clara Spera, NPR’s Nina Totenberg reported on Friday evening, shortly after news of her death.
Ginsburg died on Friday at the age of 87 due to complications from pancreatic cancer. Her death is already setting up a fight over the future of the Supreme Court, with Democrats calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to follow his own precedent in calling for no new Supreme Court nominees to be considered in an election year.
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.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 18, 2020
Following the 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia, McConnell refused to hold hearings on former president Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland. At the time, McConnell said that it was too close to the presidential election to hold hearings and vote on Garland’s nomination.
But McConnell on Friday night announced he would move forward quickly to hold a vote on President Trump’s nominee.
“Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year. 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,” McConnell said in a statement.
Trump last week released an updated list of potential Supreme Court nominees, a list that includes three sitting Senators.