While Americans were still grappling with the sudden news about the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered another devastating blow to a nation in mourning. In a statement which was released within hours after the country learned about the tragic news of Ginsburg, who died from cancer on Friday, McConnell opposed the final wish Ginsburg made before dying.
“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” the senate majority leader said.
Full statement from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on his intentions after the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: pic.twitter.com/pLjb2ZBTaU
— Laura Litvan (@LauraLitvan) September 19, 2020
According to NPR, Ginsburg expressed her wish a few days before her death, dictating a recorded statement to her granddaughter, Clara Spera.
"My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed," the women’s right advocate said.
Rep. Maxine Waters, who went to Twitter to remind the public about Ginsburg’s dying wish, urged elected officials to respect the desire of the 87-year-old woman.
“Senate Democrats, do not back down. You have a tough fight ahead, but our future is on the line!” Waters wrote. “No SCOTUS appointment before the election!!!"
Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish was that her seat would not be filled until a new president is installed! Senate Democrats, do not back down. You have a tough fight ahead but our future is on the line! No SCOTUS appointment before the election!!!
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) September 19, 2020
According to NPR, Ginsburg's death could give Republicans more control on the court, with President Donald Trump possibly making the next appointment and giving conservatives a 6-3 majority.
Elie Mystal, a justice correspondent for The Nation, said Ginsburg perceived that "McConnell would use all his considerable power to confirm a new Supreme Court justice in record time" after her death.
"Ginsburg herself surely knew this," the correspondent wrote in a column.
Mystal added that Ginsburg's dying wish "isn't about what Trump and McConnell should do, but about what we must do."
"Her deathbed dictation should not be read as the fleeting hope bubbles of a dying old lady, but as an exhortation to fight from the fiercest defender of women’s rights of her generation," he wrote, urging Americans to "not let her be 'replaced' until a new president is installed."
According to Politico, McConnell's plan to replace Ginsburg contradicts his own policy from 2016. That's when he blocked former President Barack Obama from placing Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court. He also changed Senate filibuster rules when he allowed two of Trump’s picks to take the high court.
Social media users quickly pulled up the old receipts after McConnell made his statement about replacing the human rights champion.
Mitch McConnell infamously said "give the people a voice in the filling of this vacancy" by waiting until the new president took office.
Now that Justice Ginsburg has passed 47 days before the election, he MUST adhere to the same "principles."
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) September 18, 2020
It was also the timing of the statement that angered many people.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg hasn’t even been gone for a day and Mitch McConnell has already put out a statement saying that he plans to replace her this year. He couldn’t even wait one fucking day.
— Ryan Knight ???? (@ProudSocialist) September 19, 2020
Sen. Bernie Sanders also released a statement, saying McConnell "is cementing a shameful legacy of brazen hypocrisy."
Unfortunately, Sen. McConnell has decided to go against Justice Ginsburg's dying wishes and is cementing a shameful legacy of brazen hypocrisy.
The right thing to do here is clear, and Senate Republicans know it. We should let voters decide. Period. pic.twitter.com/VI5O6RCnpg
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) September 19, 2020
With the passing of Ginsburg, conservatives could possibly take control going into the November election and decide the course of current issues such as social justice, climate change and gun rights.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden expressed his thoughts on the plan to replace the late social justice champion.
“The voters should pick a president, and that president should select a successor to Justice Ginsburg,” Biden said in a statement.