Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s last wish was NOT to be replaced until ‘new president is installed’ – setting up extraordinary political crisis if Donald Trump nominates a new justice
- The Supreme Court justice died Friday at the age of 87
- The Bill Clinton nominee served for 27 years
- President Trump has already installed two conservative justices and has spoke about installing several more if he gets reelected
- Ginsburg dictated to her granddaughter a ‘most fervent wish’ not to be replaced until a new president is installed
- She declined to retire under President Barack Obama
- Senate Leader Mitch McConnell refused to allow a hearing on Barack Obama nominee Merrick Garland for nearly a year before the 2016 elections
- Obama nominated Garland March 16, 2016
- McConnell said at the time: ‘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’
- Democratic leader Sen. Charles Schumer quoted McConnell word-for-word in his own statement Friday
- Trump talked up Sen. Ted Cruz as potential nominee at Friday night rally, presumably not knowing the news
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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death at 87 sets in motion a monumental political fight in the final weeks before the elections – amid her dying wish that President Donald Trump not nominate her successor.
News of Ginsburg’s death broke Friday night while Trump, who she has sparred with publicly and ruled against repeatedly, was in the midst of a typical campaign rally where he blasted immigration from Somalia and heralded the National Guard imposing order on Minneapolis.
Early tributes and obituaries for Ginsburg, a stalwart member of the court’s left wing, revealed he had not held back views of what the future might hold for her seat. She dictated a message to her granddaughter Clara Spera.
‘My most fervent wish is that I I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.,’ she said.
‘My most fervent wish is that I I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,’ said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a statement dictated days before her death
It is a wish that Ginsburg and other liberals can’t control. The key decision maker is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who held up President Barack Obama’s high court nominee for nearly a year.
Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, never got a hearing after Obama nominated him following the death of Judge Antonin Scalia.
But Republicans have changed the rules on filibusters for Supreme Court Justices, and McConnell has changed his line with his own party in control of the White House. ‘Oh, we’d fill it,’ he said when asked about the hypothetical.
Republicans, who hold a 53-vote majority in the Senate can try to schedule a hearing on a nominee and push through a vote before the elections, or during a ‘lame duck’ session immediately afterward. The vacancy is certain to put the squeeze on some Senate Republicans in tight races, including Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
The president has already appointed two members of the Supreme Court, Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, in moves that pushes the court increasingly to the right and maintained its 5-4 conservative majority.
After suffering a handful of high-profile defeats this summer, Trump has complained about Chief Justice John Roberts. He has spoken about the importance of court in the upcoming elections, and recently released a list of conservative nominees he says he will draw from.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87, was a reliable vote for the left wing of the court
President Donald Trump has already installed two justices on the high court
Trump talked up Texas Sen. Ted Cruz as a potential nominee presumably before he knew of Ginsburg’s death
He sometimes says the next president could appoint one, two, three or even four justices to the court.
The vacancy is certain to add even more urgency to the already hard-fought election.
Republicans credit the political heat over the Scalia seat with helping drive turnout and enthusiasm among base supporters who gave Donald Trump an edge.
President Trump spoke about his court nominees minutes after the news of Ginsburg’s death.
‘We have about 45 unbelievable people.,’ he said. The
Conservative they believe in the Constitution, okay,’ he said.
‘I have to have somebody that we can make sure we get approved,’ Trump said. Then he spoke about Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who was on the list Trump released.
‘The only one I can think of is Ted, because he’s going to get 50 Republican votes and 50 Democrat votes, they’ll do anything to get him out of the Senate,’ he said.
Many Democrats have never forgiven McConnell, who has a reputation as an institutionalist, for killing the Garland nomination.
‘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,’ McConnell said explaining the hold-up, in a comment former Obama communications director Dan Pfieffer tweeted Friday night.
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Charles Schumer tweeted his own statement Friday night that quoted McConnell word-for-word but did not mention his name. ‘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,’ said Schumer.