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Did Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life even matter to Democrats?
Following her death at the age of 87 late Friday, several top Senate Democrats rushed to politicize it, including Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, who outright skipped over expressing any condolences, choosing instead to issue a veiled threat.
In one stunning tweet — the only tweet posted by him that evening after news of Ginsburg’s death broke — the senator aimed a veiled threat at Republicans by stating that he and his colleagues should abolish the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court if Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the 2020 election.
“Mitch McConnell set the precedent. No Supreme Court vacancies filled in an election year. If he violates it, when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court,” Markey wrote.
As of Saturday morning, no other tweet about Ginsburg lined his profile.
Mitch McConnell set the precedent. No Supreme Court vacancies filled in an election year. If he violates it, when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) September 19, 2020
Markey wasn’t the only Democrat to behave in such a manner.
While Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer did at least express condolences, he chose to first post a political tweet in which he argued that the vacancy left by Ginsburg should not be filled until “we have a new president” …
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.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 18, 2020
If President Donald Trump wins reelection in November, America will not have “a new president” until 2025 …
The tweet above was posted at 7:51 pm EST.
Eight minutes later, the Senate leader finally expressed condolences.
Tonight, we mourn the passing of a giant in American history, a champion for justice, a trailblazer for women.
She would want us all to fight as hard as we can to preserve her legacy.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 18, 2020
The president meanwhile responded in an entirely opposite manner.
After being informed of Ginsburg’s death immediately after the conclusion of a rally Friday evening in Minnesota, the president called her “an amazing woman.”
“She just died? Wow. I didn’t know that. She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman, whether you agree or not. She was an amazing woman who led an amazing life,” he said to reporters.
President @realDonaldTrump on the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “She led an amazing life…She was an amazing woman, whether you agreed or not…I am sad to hear that.”#RIPRBG pic.twitter.com/VTqNfohK8X
— Team Trump (Text VOTE to 88022) (@TeamTrump) September 19, 2020
He followed up with a statement posted to Twitter that contained not a shred of politics.
“A fighter to the end, Justice Ginsburgh battled cancer, and other very long odds, throughout her remarkable life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ginsburg family and their loved ones during this difficult time. May her memory be a great and magnificent blessing to the world,” he wrote.
Statement from the President on the Passing of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pic.twitter.com/N2YkGVWLoF
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2020
None of this is to suggest that there won’t be political implications from Ginsburg’s passing.
“The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg put the Supreme Court at the epicenter of the 2020 presidential election, setting up a furious battle over who should fill the vacancy. … Conservatives outnumbered liberals on the court 5-4 before the death of Ginsburg, a liberal stalwart. With a new right-leaning justice, conservatives could hold a solid 6-3 majority,” Fox News notes.
This is true, and as a result, it’s imperative for Republicans that a nominee be selected and processed through the Senate.
With that said, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued his own statement Friday evening that both expressed condolences and addressed the political implications.
“The Senate and the nation mourn the sudden passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life. Justice Ginsburg overcame one personal challenge and professional barrier after another. She climbed from a modest Brooklyn upbringing to a seat on our nation’s highest court and into the pages of American history,” the statement read.
“Justice Ginsburg was thoroughly dedicated to the legal profession and to her 27 years of service on the Supreme Court. Her intelligence and determination earned her respect and admiration throughout the legal world, and indeed throughout the entire nation, which now grieves alongside her family, friends, and colleagues.”
The statement concluded with McConnell then stating bluntly for the record that, in line with his long-maintained principles, “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
The Senate and the nation mourn the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life.
My full statement: pic.twitter.com/NOwYLhDxIk
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) September 19, 2020
As of Saturday morning, the president had of course not yet even broached the topic of nominating Ginsburg’s replacement.
However, unnamed “sources” within the White House had confirmed to ABC News that the president “is expected to put forth a nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court in the coming days.”
All this comes only days after the president released a lengthy list of potential Supreme Court nominees that includes the likes of Sens. Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley.
Trump announces list of 20 potential US Supreme Court nominees, challenges Biden to do the same https://t.co/Ek5Z4R3oqP
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 10, 2020
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