President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden both offered condolences after the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday after a battle with cancer.
Biden, who called her “unflinching” and a “consistent and reliable” jurist who cared about every American’s civil rights, said in brief remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday night that her replacement should not come until after the election, despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., calling for a hearing and a vote.
“Her opinions and her dissent are going to continue to shape the basis for our law for a generation. And, you know, tonight and the coming days, we should focus on the loss of the justice, and her enduring legacy,” he said. “But there is no doubt, let me be clear, that the voters should pick a president, the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider. “
During Barack Obama’s presidency, there was a political controversy when he nominated federal appeals court Judge Merrick Garland after the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative jurist, in 2016 and McConnell refused to allow a hearing citing an election year.
Later Friday night, Biden tweeted a statement on Ginsburg, describing her as an “American hero.”
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg stood for all of us. She was an American hero, a giant of legal doctrine, and a relentless voice in the pursuit of that highest American ideal: Equal Justice Under Law. May her memory be a blessing to all people who cherish our Constitution and its promise,” Biden said.
Ginsburg’s death is likely to set off a fierce political battle between Republicans and Democrats over filling her seat on the nine-person Supreme Court, which already has a conservative majority.
Trump, who held a campaign rally in Bemidji, Minnesota, told reporters after the event that he was stunned to hear about her passing.
“She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman, whether you agreed or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life,” Trump told reporters. “I’m actually saddened to hear that. I am saddened to hear that.”
Trump also tweeted out a more complete statement on her passing Friday night, calling her a “titan of the law.”
“A fighter to the end, Justice Ginsburg battled cancer, and other very long odds, throughout her remarkable life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ginsburg family and their loved ones during this difficult time,” Trump said in the statement. “May her memory be a great and magnificent blessing to