By Jesse Stiller
Nation & World Editor
Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday, Sept. 18, setting up a major battle over the next Supreme Court nominee with less than 45 days to go before the Presidential election.
Ginsburg died at her home in Washington D.C., as reported by the Associated Press, from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was 87 years old. The news came amid concerns about the justice’s health over the last few years, which included surgeries to remove two tumors in 2018 and a fall that resulted in broken ribs.
The Supreme Court released a press statement regarding the unexpected news. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. stated, “Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague.”
“Justice Ginsburg will go down as a leading figure in the history of the Court,” Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote in a subsequent press release. “She will be remembered for her intelligence, learning, and remarkable fortitude. She has been and will continue to be an inspiration for many.”
She was buried at the Arlington National Cemetery next to her late husband, Martin Ginsburg, at a private ceremony.
However, according to The New York Times, the Supreme Court vacancy is being set for a political showdown between President Donald Trump and Senate Democrats for control. Some argue the next elected president should make the choice for Ginsburg’s successor.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already said, according to Vox, that he has the votes to push forward the nomination from President Trump, judge Amy Coney Barrett.
According to a White House press release, President Trump said that “She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials, and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution.”
President Trump argued on Wednesday that there should be a nine-member court to decide on potential cases that could challenge the legitimacy of the upcoming presidential election, according to USA Today.
“‘I think this will end up in the Supreme Court, and I think it’s very important that we have nine Justices,’” Trump told reporters from USA TODAY.
The Democrats responded to the GOP’s rush to appoint and confirm a nominee before the election, according to The New York Times, by threatening to pack the court if they took control of the Senate and if Joe Biden were elected president.
“We should leave all options on the table, including the number of justices that are on the Supreme Court,” said Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), as reported by The New York Times.
According to a CNBC and Change Research Poll, most voters were open to waiting for a nomination until after the election, also suggesting that the current president should not select the nominee if he loses.