McConnell vows quick vote on next justice; Biden says wait
WASHINGTON (AP) — The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just six weeks before the election cast an immediate spotlight on the crucial high court vacancy, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly vowing to bring to a vote whoever President Donald Trump nominates. Democratic nominee Joe Biden vigorously disagreed, declaring that "voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice to consider.” require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle)
}); McConnell, who sets the calendar in the U.S.
The claim: Ruth Bader Ginsburg died a year and half ago and was replaced by a body double
As America mourns the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a gender equality pioneer, respected legal mind and pop culture icon, some conspiracy theorists are suggesting the grief is long overdue.
Hundreds mourn Ruth Bader Ginsburg in vigil outside Supreme Court
"It is amazing to see how many people are feeling this loss tonight and saying goodbye," said Jennifer Berger.Spontaneously, hundreds of people of all ages and races gathered on the steps of the historic Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. late Friday night. Wearing face-masks to protect them from the coronavirus, many wept silently about the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“She died a year and a half ago ... the body double could not keep up the act anymore and was about to be exposed...” Richard Cordes posted on Facebook in the late evening Sept. 18, soon after Ginsburg died.
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A similar post claims Ginsburg has been dead for two years. Michael Pietrobono named potential news items that could clog up the news cycle "to limit Trump's popularity." The third thing listed was a major death.
"Today we have #3 - 'They' declared RBG dead .... finally! She's been dead for over 2 years now!"
USA TODAY has reached out to both Cordes and Pietrobono for comment.
Ginsburg's many public appearances and continued service to the court prove that she was very much alive until Sept. 18.
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Over the past two years, Ginsburg’s been spotted many times. She's given talks in front of large audiences and recorded video interviews with national outlets.
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Just a few weeks ago, on Aug. 30, Ginsburg officiated an outdoor wedding for family friends. The bride, Barb Solish, tweeted a photo of the ceremony. Solish wrote that both she and her husband, Danny Kazin, tested negative for COVID-19 before the ceremony. The wedding photo was Ginsburg’s first public sighting in months, and also her last.
In September of last year, USA TODAY reported on Ginsburg speaking in New York City. And in February of this year, Ginsburg spoke at Georgetown's law school in Washington, D.C. At the time, USA TODAY reported: "Upon her latest recovery, Ginsburg embarked on a series of public speaking engagements that would tire someone half her age. Her appearance Monday at Georgetown University Law Center was her fourth this month."
USA TODAY has found no evidence the woman featured in these photos and videos was not Ginsburg.
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She served on the Supreme Court this summer
Ginsburg certainly has participated in Supreme Court proceedings in recent terms.
Last October, USA TODAY reported on Ginsburg's in-person participation in the Supreme Court's oral arguments as a new term began.
Since the Supreme Court went virtual in March, when COVID-19 crippled the country, Ginsburg continued to hear cases remotely. On May 6, she made headlines when she participated in a telephonic oral argument from her hospital bed at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she was recovering from a gallbladder condition.
Ginsburg v. cancer was a 'remarkable fight': RBG battled five bouts of cancer over two decades
Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had overcome four bouts with pancreatic, lung and colon cancer dating back two decades. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the oldest justice on the U.S.
Ginsburg faced several bouts with pancreatic, lung and colon cancer over the last 20 years. In July she announced she was fighting her fifth battle with cancer, which had spread to her liver.
A 'remarkable fight': RBG's five bouts with cancer over two decades
She began chemotherapy treatments in May but died from complications of her pancreatic cancer in her home in Washington, D.C., the evening of Sep. 18. Ginsburg had said that her treatments were going well in a July 17 statement.
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Our rating: False
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made many public appearances in the past 18 months and continued to serve on the court through the summer. There is no evidence to suggest she died a year and half ago and was replaced by a body double. We rate this claim FALSE because it is not supported by our research.
Our fact-check sources:
USA TODAY, Sept. 18, "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies, setting up nomination fight"
USA TODAY, Sept. 18, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Second woman on Supreme Court had been nation's leading litigator for women's rights"
USA TODAY, Sept. 19, "'When daughters are beloved as much as sons': 11 powerful quotes from Ruth Bader Ginsburg"
USA TODAY, Sept. 18, "'RBG': How 'Notorious' Ruth Bader Ginsburg became a pop-culture icon"
Richard Cordes' Sept. 18 Facebook Post
Berkeleyside, Sept. 18. "Video: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s last talk in Berkeley"
NPR, Aug. 2, 2019, "VIDEO: Justice Ginsburg Talks About Her Health With Nina Totenberg"
USA TODAY, Sept. 1, "'2020 has been rough, but yesterday was Supreme': Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiates couple's wedding"
Barb Solish, Aug. 31, tweet (archived version)
USA TODAY, April 30, "Supreme Court makes historic change to hear oral arguments over the phone and stream them live"
USA TODAY, May 6, "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joins oral argument by telephone from hospital"
USA TODAY, July 17, "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg battling cancer again"
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, July 17 statement
USA TODAY, Sept. 20, 2019, "After cancer, Supreme Court's Ruth Bader Ginsburg hits the road to prove her vitality -- and longevity"
USA TODAY, Oct. 7, 2019, "Supreme Court, trying to remain above the partisan fray, opens 2019 term with a debate about insanity"
Georgetown Law, Feb. 13, "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Celebrates Centennial of 'First Step' toward Equal Citizenship for Women, Says Work Remains"
USA TODAY, Feb. 13, "Conservatives, liberals mull next Supreme Court battle with memories of 2016"
Contributing: Richard Wolf
Supreme Court is shorthanded but could play key role in election
The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg adds a new layer of intrigue to a pandemic-infused election that's been challenged from Alabama to Wisconsin.On SCOTUS ‘all Democrats can do is plan retaliation’ expert says
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President Bill Clinton and federal appeals court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg walk along the Colonnade at the White House on June 14, 1993, en route to the Rose Garden for the news conference announcing her Supreme Court nomination.
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Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, escorts federal appeals court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Capitol Hill the day after her Supreme Court nomination in 1993.
Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, talks to Supreme Court nominee Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg prior to the start of her confirmation hearing before the committee on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, July 20, 1993 in Washington.
Supreme Court nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg shakes hands with Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, D-Ill., as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., looks on prior to Ginsburg's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 20, 1993.
US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is bundled up for the cold as she stands with other members of the Supreme Court before the start of the swearing in ceremony for US President-elect George W. Bush at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on Jan. 20, 2001.
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Justice Ginsburg swears in Vice President Al Gore for his second term on Jan. 20, 1997.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks to the 2002 Planum at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs after recieving the Albert D. Chernin Award during a ceremony Monday, Feb. 18, 2002 in Washington.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first Jewish woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court, talks with filmmaker David Grubin in Washington about his PBS series "The Jewish Americans" in 2008.
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Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg arrives for President Barack Obama's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 24, 2009.
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Opera tenor Placido Domingo, left, chats with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, right, during Harvard University's 360th commencement exercises, on the school's campus, in Cambridge, Mass., Thursday, May 26, 2011.
Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, second from left, is applauded by, from left, Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, during a forum to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Sandra Day O’Connor’s appointment to the Supreme Court, at the Newseum in Washington, Wednesday, April 11, 2012.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg smiles as she discusses highlights of the court's current term and the impending decision in the Affordable Care Act litigation, at the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy convention in Washington, Friday, June 15, 2012.
Supreme Court Justices, from left, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan await the start of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. right, talks with Supreme Court, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during her annual Women's History Month reception, Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington. Pelosi was honoring the women Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Supreme Court justices, from left, Samuel Alito, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer arrive on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington, for his inauguration ceremony as the 45th president of the United States.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg participates in a swearing in ceremony for new American citizens, Tuesday, April 10, 2018, in New York. Justice Ginsberg administered the Oath of Allegiance to 200 immigrants from 59 countries who became U.S. citizens.
The Supreme Court's official portrait in November 2018 shows Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (seated, second from right) alongside her eight colleagues. From left in front row: Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Ginsburg, Samuel Alito. From left to right, back row: Neil Gorsuch, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh.
Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the last justice to leave a private ceremony in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court where the late Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens lies in repose on July 22, 2019 in Washington, DC.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Viral posts falsely claim Ruth Bader Ginsburg had already died
Trump embraces political battle with pick of Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative favorite, for Supreme Court .
Trump's nomination of Barrett will be a major campaign issue, coming just three days before his first debate with Democratic challenger Joe Biden. “This nomination is an attack on our very democracy," said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Republicans and conservative allies applauded Barrett as a strict constructionist who will interpret the Constitution and not make law from the bench. "Judge Barrett has impressed the brightest judicial and legal minds with her profound understanding of the law," tweeted Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tex.