President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden both offered condolences after the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday after a battle with cancer.
But, Biden, who called her “unflinching” and a “consistent and reliable” jurist who cared about every Americans’ civil rights, said in brief remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday night that her replacement should not come until after the election, despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., calling for a hearing and vote.
“Her opinions and her dissent are going to continue to shape the basis for our law for a generation. And, you know, tonight and the coming days, we should focus on the loss of the justice, and her enduring legacy,” he said. “But there is no doubt, let me be clear, that the voters should pick a president, the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider. “
Ginsburg’s death is likely to set off a fierce political battle between Republicans and Democrats over filling her seat on the nine-person Supreme Court, which already has a conservative majority.
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Trump, who held a campaign rally in Bemidji, Minnesota, told reporters after the event that he was stunned to hear about her passing.
“She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman, whether you agreed or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life,” Trump told reporters. “I’m actually saddened to hear that. I am saddened to hear that.”
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News on Friday that Trump did not know of her passing while on stage in Minnesota, but said he admired her tenacity. Flags at the White House have been lowered to honor Ginsburg, she said.
“Tonight we honor her legacy,” she said. “If you could sum up this woman, she was an overcomer. That’s what she was. She will have a place in American history.”
During the 2016 election, she called then-candidate Trump a “faker” who “really has an ego.” This lead then-candidate Trump to lash out on Twitter in 2016 saying “her mind is shot,” and called on her to resign. Ginsburg later apologized for her comments.
Despite her health issues, Ginsburg, nominated by President Bill Clinton, had remained an active justice during the court’s oral arguments. Last year, she missed a courtroom argument for the first time since she took her seat on the bench in 1993.
She was also active during the court’s current term, which ended in July, in 5-4 decisions that overturned a state law restricting access to abortion, and that blocked the Trump administration from shutting down DACA, which allows young people known as Dreamers to remain in the U.S.
Dartunorro Clark is a political reporter for NBC News.
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