Justice Ginsburg Dead: Reactions from Obama, Clinton, Carter, Pelosi - Rolling Stone
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Death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Stirs Powerful Reactions

Washington weighs in on the death of a SCOTUS legend — and what should happen next

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves the stage after speaking to first-year students at Georgetown Law, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves the stage after speaking to first-year students at Georgetown Law, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer.


Legendary Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday at the age of 87, prompting an outpouring of tributes and condolences from America’s political grandees. The death of a liberal lion on the court in the stretch run of the 2020 election also sparked immediate speculation about whether President Trump will be able to replace her with a conservative jurist before inauguration day.

The Democrats’ 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton promptly saluted RBG as a pathbreaker:

Former president Bill Clinton, who appointed Ginsburg to the Supreme Court, lauded her as “one of the most extraordinary” Supreme Court justices in our history, saying she “moved us closer to a more perfect union.”

Former president Jimmy Carter, who first appointed RBG as a federal judge, saluted her as a “beacon of justice.”

Former President Barack Obama, in a Medium post, recalled Ginsburg as “a warrior for gender equality — someone who believed that equal justice under law only had meaning if it applied to every single American.”

Current Democratic nominee Joe Biden reacted by saying Ginsburg was “not only a giant in the legal profession, but a beloved figure. My heart goes out to all those who cared for her and care about her.”

Former Republican president George W. Bush saluted RBG’s lifelong “pursuit of justice and equality”:

Informed of the news by reporters, President Trump praised Justice Ginsburg’s life, calling her “an amazing woman.”

Calling the news of Ginsburg’s death “devastating,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she “fought for her values til the end.”

Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator and 2020 presidential primary candidate, bid a heartfelt goodbye to her friend “Ruthie” whom she called an inspiration in her own legal career.

James Clyburn, the third ranking Democrat in the House, praised Ginsburg’s “unwavering commitment to justice for all.”

Senator Cory Booker, who also ran for the Democratic nomination in 2020, praised RBG as a “warrior for justice.”

Ginsburg’s death being so close to the election will likely throw Washington into turmoil, with Mitch McConnell promising that “Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.” But because Republicans blocked Obama nominee Merrick Garland’s appointment in March of 2016, citing an upcoming election, Democrats are calling for the Senate to wait until after inauguration day 2021 to fill the vacancy.

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer repeated McConnell’s statement on Garland’s nomination word-for-word:

Biden made his no-malarkey position on the matter plain:

Obama wrote that Republicans should adhere to the same standard they used in denying Garland a vote:

“A basic principle of the law — and of everyday fairness — is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment. The rule of law, the legitimacy of our courts, the fundamental workings of our democracy all depend on that basic principle. As votes are already being cast in this election, Republican Senators are now called to apply that standard. The questions before the Court now and in the coming years — with decisions that will determine whether or not our economy is fair, our society is just, women are treated equally, our planet survives, and our democracy endures — are too consequential to future generations for courts to be filled through anything less than an unimpeachable process.”

News began breaking Friday night of remarks by key Republican moderates in the Senate who could stand together and prevent the seating of a new justice until the next president is inaugurated. New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin reported on Maine Senator Susan Collins‘ opposition to a hasty confirmation:

Reporters for Alaska media outlets passed on similar word from Sen. Lisa Murkowski:

As for McConnell, his full statement was complete with linguistic gymnastics that cast his promise to bring a new Trump nomination to a prompt vote as something other than rank hypocrisy:

In This Article: Ruth Bader Ginsburg


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