Battle over the replacement of Ruth Bader Ginsburg rages as tributes to late justice pour in

September 19, 2020 at 6:58 AM EDT

Obama to GOP senators: ‘Apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous’

Former president Barack Obama paid tribute to Ginsburg in a statement late Friday, but also called on Senate Republicans to avoid voting on Trump’s nominee until after the election.

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought to the end, through her cancer, with unwavering faith in our democracy and its ideals,” he said. “That’s how we remember her. But she also left instructions for how she wanted her legacy to be honored” — a reference to Ginsburg’s comment days before her death that “my most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

Obama continued: “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. The rule of law, the legitimacy of our courts, the fundamental workings of our democracy all depend on that basic principle.

“As votes are already being cast in this election, Republican Senators are now called to apply that standard. The questions before the Court now and in the coming years — with decisions that will determine whether or not our economy is fair, our society is just, women are treated equally, our planet survives, and our democracy endures — are too consequential to future generations for courts to be filled through anything less than an unimpeachable process.”

By J. Freedom du Lac

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