Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivers remarks at the Georgetown Law Center on September 12, 2019, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images)
Just days before her death Friday evening, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that her “most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” according to an NPR report.
Ginsburg, 87, died of complications from pancreatic cancer, the Court said in a statement. Her death comes less than seven weeks before the 2020 election between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
NPR, which first broke the news of Ginsburg’s passing, reported that the liberal associate justice dictated her wish to her granddaughter Clara Spera.
The new vacancy on the court gives Trump a chance to add another conservative justice to the nine-member bench of the highest court in the United States. Trump has touted his previous nominees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, as being among the major accomplishments of his first term in office.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said last year that he would seek to confirm another justice to the bench if the opportunity arose, even in an election year.
That statement of intent immediately drew accusations of hypocrisy. In 2016, after the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, McConnell had blocked then-President Barack Obama from filling that vacancy.
“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 in 2016.
After Ginsburg’s death was announced, Senate Minority Leader Chuck SChumer, D-N.Y., tweeted those exact words.