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)
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WASHINGTON – Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was to return to the Supreme Court for the final time Wednesday under circumstances both she and her legions of liberal allies and admirers hoped would never happen.
Even as President Donald Trump readied a potential replacement for the late justice, who died Friday after a lengthy battle with cancer, Ginsburg's family, friends, former law clerks and colleagues on the high court prepared for one last goodbye.
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.
The casket of the 87-year-old justice was to be escorted up the stairs to the Supreme Court's Great Hall, just outside the courtroom – its entrance draped in black – where she served for 27 years.
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After a brief ceremony, it will be returned to the front portico of the court for two days of public viewing, with appropriate social distancing to guard against the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 200,000 lives.
Then Ginsburg's casket will be moved across the street to the U.S. Capitol, where on Friday she will become the first woman to lie in state since the honor was first bestowed on Henry Clay in 1852. At both locations, Ginsburg's casket will rest on the Lincoln Catafalque, which first supported President Abraham Lincoln's casket in the Capitol after his assassination in 1865.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death has left the Supreme Court shorthanded during a polarizing presidential campaign in which President Donald Trump has already suggested he may not accept the outcome and the court could be called on to step in and decide the fate of the nation. It's the second time in four years that a justice has died during an election year, though that eight-justice court was not asked to referee any election disputes in 2016. Today, both sides have armies of lawyers ready to take the outcome to court.
A private interment service will be held next week at Arlington National Cemetery, where Ginsburg will join her late husband, Martin, who died in 2010.
It will be a familiar scene at the high court, where current and former justices and clerks have mourned with families and friends twice before in just the past four years. Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was lain in repose there in 2016. Retired Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, who lived to be 99, received a similar honor last year.
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Ginsburg's death immediately ignited a partisan battle over the high court vacancy, one Republicans have longed to fill while they control the White House and Senate. Trump has refrained from naming a nominee until after most of Ginsburg's ceremonies are completed, but he has made no secret of his intent to act quickly with the Nov. 3 election approaching.
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The leading candidate, federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, was at the White House Monday and Tuesday for meetings. Several other women, most notably federal appeals court Judge Barbara Lagoa of Florida, are said to be in contention. Trump has vowed to announce his nominee at 5 p.m. Saturday.
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Senate Republicans, meanwhile, are falling into line behind the goal of confirming the as-yet-unnamed nominee with unusual speed by Election Day. The strictly partisan plan has mobilized Democrats against the prospect of a far more conservative court, perhaps for decades to come. Millions of dollars are being spent by both sides in an effort to seat or defeat Trump's nominee.
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But for the next three days, it will be Ginsburg – the diminutive Brooklyn native who led the legal battle for women's equality in the 1970s, then served for four decades on the nation's two most powerful courts – who commands the nation's attention.
A New York City native who attended Harvard Law School before graduating from Columbia Law School, Ginsburg was a law professor at Columbia and Rutgers before President Jimmy Carter named her to the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1980. She was elevated by President Bill Clinton in 1993, winning Senate confirmation by a vote of 96-3.
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During President Barack Obama's second term, Ginsburg did not heed the advice of some liberal allies to retire so that Democrats could replace her. After Trump's upset victory in 2016, she battled cancer diagnoses and other serious ailments in order to remain in office, once even participating in oral arguments from her hospital bed.
The eight sitting justices are expected to attend Wednesday morning's ceremony inside the otherwise shuttered court, along with one or more retired justices. Sadly, the only woman to precede Ginsburg on the bench, her close friend Sandra Day O'Connor, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and is unlikely to be present.
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The public then will have the chance to pay their respects from about 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, and from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, under the portico at the top of the courthouse steps.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she appeared in the official Supreme Court photo on Dec. 5, 2003.
This image provided by the Supreme Court shows Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as they ride an elephant in Rajasthan, India, in 1994 . Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at her home in Washington, on Sept. 18, 2020, the Supreme Court announced.
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: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg returns to Supreme Court for final time
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