AUSTIN (KXAN) — Just days before she died, Ruth Bader Ginsburg told her granddaughter that she did not want President Donald Trump to choose her replacement.
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” Ginsburg told granddaughter Clara Spera, according to NPR via NBC News.
The vacancy left by Ginsburg, 87, could forever alter the Supreme Court in the long-run and also presents an immediate conflict in Washington, D.C.
In 2016, Republicans in Senate refused to consider then President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, reportedly because 2016 was an Election year.
At that time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “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.”
Now, Democrats say, Republicans must apply the precedent ahead of the 2020 Presidential Election.
On Friday, Obama released a statement saying:
“Four and a half years ago, when Republicans refused to hold a hearing or an up-or-down vote on Merrick Garland, they invented the principle that the Senate shouldn’t fill an open seat on the Supreme Court before a new president was sworn in. A basic principle of the law — and of everyday fairness — is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment.”
On Friday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted McConnell’s exact 2016 statement on Merrick Garland’s nomination, saying: “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.”