Former President Barack Obama paid tribute to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away at the age of 87 on Friday. In his message, he noted Ginsburg will be remembered for all of the work that she did on the Supreme Court over the past 27 years. He also touched upon the instructions that she issued shortly before her death, which expressed that she wants America to wait until after the election in order to have the president nominate a replacement for her.
"Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought to the end, through her cancer, with unwavering faith in our democracy and its ideals," Obama's message read, in part. "That's how we remember her. But she also left instructions for how she wanted her legacy to be honored." In addition to posting the caption, the former president also included a lengthier caption in the post. He included a slideshow that included a photo of himself and Ginsburg as well as a message for the country, and, specifically, Republicans, amidst this vacancy on the Supreme Court.
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Obama wrote that in 2016, Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, set the precedent that the Senate should not fill an open seat on the Supreme Court during an election year (Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in 2016 while Obama was still president, but the Senate refused to advance his nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the position). "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," he wrote. "The rule of law, the legitimacy of our courts, the fundamental workings of our democracy all depend on that basic principle."
Obama added, "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, our democracy endures — are too consequential to future generations for courts to be filled with anything less than an unimpeachable process." As Obama referenced, one of Ginsburg's final wishes was that she will "not be replaced until a new president is installed." Despite setting this precedent in 2016, McConnell has already voiced that he wants President Donald Trump to nominate a replacement.