As Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health was failing in recent days, she left what would amount to be a dying wish with a family member; she asked that she not be replaced until after the election and the next president is sworn in.
The longtime Supreme Court justice died on Friday at the age of 87. As NPR reported, she died in her home in Washington, D.C. In the days before she died, as her health was reportedly failing, Ginsburg dictated a statement to granddaughter Clara Spera asking that there not be any efforts to rush a replacement through.
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” Ginsburg said.
As the report added, Ginsburg’s death could lead to a significant shift for the Supreme Court as she served as the “leader of the liberal wing” and was a driving force in rulings that cemented gender equality efforts.
Her death comes a little more than four years after the passing of fellow Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the controversial process that followed. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement shortly after Scalia’s passing saying that the American people should have the chance to decide which president fills the vacancy.
At the time there were still close to nine months until the election, and his decision not to hold hearings on any nominee from Barack Obama was met with widespread criticism.
In the wake of Ginsburg’s death, many of the left have called for him to uphold the same standard. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer took to Twitter to issue the same statement, verbatim, that McConnell published in the hours after Scalia’s passing in 2016.
“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,” he wrote.
The Kentucky Republican and others in the GOP have said since then that they would fill a vacancy if one were to arise in the final year of Donald Trump’s presidency.
As Politico reported back in May, some said they would move forward with the nomination process, but predicted that it could be contentious, especially if it were Ginsburg’s seat they were filling.
“I would be very surprised if we didn’t move forward with hearings and try to fill the seat. I’m sure it would be very controversial, principally because of the balance of the court,” Missouri Republican Josh Hawley, a former Supreme Court clerk, told Politico. “If it’s replacing someone like Justice Ginsburg, that would be a big shift, that would be a big deal.”