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Former Washington Journalist
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With Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s body lying this week in repose at the Supreme Court, partisans both are trying to remember the great jurist Ginsburg proved to be in nearly three decades on the nation’s high court as well as engage what’s become the quick fight over her successor.
Ginsburg died late Friday night at age 87 due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Despite the impending elections, Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) quickly stated their intentions to fill Ginsburg’s seat–over what reportedly had been her last wishes.
“And she was an amazing woman and so the first reason we’re here is for unity and the second is to honor her legacy. To demand that her last wish be fulfilled by the Senate,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “She said, ‘My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.’ We believe that. So do the American people. Today, a Reuters poll came out and said 62 percent of Americans agree with her.
“So that means, that’s such a high number, it means that Democrats, Republicans and independents all agree that it is only right and it is only fair for us to abide by RBG’s last wish, that she be replaced when a new president is installed,” Schumer added, referring to Ginsburg by her commonly used initials.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) clearly articulated what is at stake with this vacancy at the court.
“Our reproductive rights are on the line. Our labor rights are on the line. Our right to health care is on the line. Labor and union protections are on the line. Our climate is on the line,” she said. “With an early appointment, all of our rights that so many people died for voting rights reproductive rights, health care rights all of those rights are at risk with this appointment and so we need to make sure that we mobilize on an unprecedented scale to ensure this vacancy is reserved for the next president and we must use every tool at our disposal from everyday people especially in swing states.”
Like many Americans, former federal prosecutor Preet Bharara said how he is caught between remembering Ginsburg the iconic justice and staying in the fight over her successor.
“I was expressing what a lot of people were feeling Friday night. On the one hand, you mourn the loss of this petite giant, as so many have called her, but on the other hand realizing what is at stake,” Bharara said. “If [the Democrats] are kept from putting in their pick, what do they do? One thing is to mention to threaten with full force that that is the thing they will do come January 2021, which depends on Joe Biden winning the presidency, and depends on the Senate changing back to Democratic hands.
“So I don’t know how strong a threat that is. They can also try to use whatever maneuverings they can, not to stop it, but to at least delay the possibility of a confirmation until after the election. Some of the dynamics change after November 3, depending on what the results are,” he added.
However, even former White House Republican strategist Karl Rove doesn’t see how a Trump nominee could be installed in time before the election.
“I wouldn’t be surprised the [Judiciary] Committee holds hearings and maybe even votes before the election, but I don’t expect that just over 42 days, 44 days I guess it is, that it’ll be possible to — to bring this all the way to the floor before the election,” said Rove, who served as a top adviser in the George W Bush White House.
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