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Politics Elizabeth Warren leads tributes to RBG from Supreme Court steps

10:26  20 september  2020
10:26  20 september  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Elizabeth Warren standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Elizabeth Warren called on supporters to fight against Donald Trump nominating a Supreme Court Justice, as she addressed hundreds at a candlelit vigil for Ruth Bader Ginsberg outside the Supreme Court

Warren spoke fondly of 'Ruthie' as 'a fighter' who blazed a trail through law school which inspired her own path, and described her as a champion of womens' rights.

Beneath a poster reading 'No confirmation until inauguration', Warren led the crowd of hundreds in a chant of: 'I will fight'.

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Warren said that the battle for collective bargaining should continue, in her memory.

She added: 'When it comes to protecting our Dreamers, when it comes to protecting those who are here, who have come to our shores, who have made a home here, Ruth Bader Ginsberg fought. And in her memory we say: I will fight.'

Earlier, vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris had joined hundreds of mourners outside the Supreme Court as she paid tribute to 'titan' and 'legal mind of the ages'.

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The U.S. Senator and her husband Douglas Emhoff stopped by a makeshift memorial outside the steps of the high court in Washington D.C. where the veteran judge served for 27 years before her death on Friday.

The site is now blanketed with a collection of flowers, homemade cardboard signs and prayer candles left by hundreds of mourners who visited the steps of the court to pay their respects in the wake of her passing.

Harris shared a photo of her visit on Twitter, calling the Supreme Court justice 'a titan—a relentless defender of justice and a legal mind for the ages.'

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'The stakes of this election couldn't be higher. Millions of Americans are counting on us to win and protect the Supreme Court—for their health, for their families, and for their rights,' Harris said.

It comes after President Trump announced he will nominate a replacement for  Ginsburg 'without delay', setting up an extraordinary confirmation battle in the Senate just weeks before the election.

Ginsburg, who had battled several bouts of cancer after first being diagnosed in 2009, finally succumbed to metastatic pancreas cancer Friday evening surrounded by her family at her home in Washington D.C.

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Hundreds of people packed the steps of the Supreme Court on Friday night and the street across from the U.S. Capitol as they sang and wept together during a candlelight vigil.

The impromptu nighttime memorial was held shortly after news of her passing broke, which triggered an outpouring of tributes from both sides of the political spectrum.

Trump issued a proclamation directing that flags at the White House and all public buildings and grounds and military facilities be flown at half-staff until the late Justice Ginsburg is interred.

During the memorial, dozens of people wearing protective masks sat on the steps quietly reflecting on Ginsburg's legacy, while others knelt to leave bouquets of flowers, small American flags and photos of the justice.

Several times, dozens in the crowd broke out into song, singing 'Amazing Grace' and 'This Land is Your Land' as others embraced one another and wiped tears from their eyes.

At one point, the crowd broke into a thunderous applause - lasting for about a minute - for Ginsburg.

'Thank you RBG,' one sign read. On the sidewalk, 'RBG' was drawn inside a pink chalk heart.

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Jennifer Berger, 37, said she felt compelled to join the large crowd that gathered to pay tribute to Ginsburg's life.

'I think it is important for us to recognize such a trailblazer,' she said. 'It is amazing to see how many people are feeling this loss tonight and saying goodbye.'

a group of people standing in front of a building: Flowers and tribute signs lined the sidewalk outside of the Supreme Court, where Ginsburg served for 27 years © Provided by Daily Mail Flowers and tribute signs lined the sidewalk outside of the Supreme Court, where Ginsburg served for 27 years a person sitting at a table with a flower on a plant: Visitors were seen breaking down in tears as they mourned the loss of the veteran justice © Provided by Daily Mail Visitors were seen breaking down in tears as they mourned the loss of the veteran justice

Ginsburg spent her final years on the bench as the unquestioned leader of the court's liberal wing and became something of a rock star to her admirers.

Young women especially seemed to embrace the court's Jewish grandmother, affectionately calling her the 'Notorious RBG', for her defense of the rights of women and minorities.

The memorial service remained mostly peaceful and somber, but turned tense for several minutes after a man with a megaphone approached people in the crowd and began to chant that 'Roe v. Wade is dead,' a reference to the landmark Supreme Court ruling establishing abortion rights nationwide.

A large group confronted the man, leading to a brief shouting match.

Many in the crowd began yelling 'RBG' to try to drown out the man's voice as he continued to say Republicans would push to quickly appoint a conservative justice to the court.

Supreme Court police officers stood alongside the crowd and the man eventually left the area.

Ginsburg's death paves the way for Donald Trump to expand his conservative majority on the Supreme Court ahead of November's election.

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The leader of the court's four-member liberal wing had voiced concerns about the political impact of her passing in the days leading up to her death.

'My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,' the legal pioneer said in a statement dictated to her granddaughter Clara Spera days before her death.

President Trump was on stage in Minnesota when the Justice's death was announced and had carried on with his campaign rally apparently unaware of the news.

He was later asked about her death by reporters, Trump said: 'She just died? Wow. I didn't know that, you're telling me now for the first time.'

He then paused and held his hands in the air before paying tribute to Ginsburg - who he had a fraught relationship with since he moved in to the White House.

'She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman whether you agreed [with her] or not. She was an amazing who led an amazing life.

'I'm actually sad to hear that. I'm sad to hear that,' he said, before he turned and walked toward his jet.

Meanwhile the White House flag was lowered to half staff and his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows tweeted a tribute to the 'trailblazer' and 'dedicated public servant'.

Trump later tweeted a longer statement, describing Ginsburg as a 'titan of the law' whose legal expertise and historic decisions inspired generations of Americans.

'Today, our nation mourns the loss of a titan of the law' who was 'renowned for her brilliant mind and her powerful dissents at the Supreme Court,' Trump said, after the rally in Minnesota.

'Her opinions, including well-known decisions regarding the legal equality of women and the disabled, have inspired all Americans, and generations of great legal minds,' he added.

'May her memory be a great and magnificent blessing to the world.'

He did not mention plans for nominating a replacement.

Chief Justice John Roberts paid tribute to his colleague Friday describing her as a 'champion of justice'.

'Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,' Roberts said in a statement.

'We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tired and resolute champion of justice.'

Former presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George Bush and Jimmy Carter all voiced their tributes, along with politicians including Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo voiced their tributes.

The White House lowered its flags to half staff and social media users pointed out that in Jewish tradition, a person who dies on Rosh Hashanah - which started tonight - is regarded as a person of great righteousness.

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