Nancy Pelosi Calls Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Death an 'Incalculable Loss' Amid Questions Over Replacement

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death an "incalculable loss for our democracy" in a statement Friday evening. Pelosi also ordered flags to be lowered at half-staff at the U.S. Capitol to "honor the patriotism" of Ginsburg, adding that every woman, girl and family has "benefited from her brilliance." Ginsburg died Friday at age 87 from complications of pancreatic cancer.

"The loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is devastating. Justice Ginsburg embodied justice, brilliance and goodness, and her passing is an incalculable loss for our democracy and for all who sacrifice and strive to build a better future for our children," Pelosi wrote Friday. "Every family in America benefited from her brilliant legacy and courage." Pelosi noted that during Ginsburg's 27 years on the Supreme Court, she "became an icon, inspiring people around the world with her tenacity, towering intellect and devotion to the American promise of equality and opportunity for all."

Pelosi went on to praise Ginsburg's "tireless advocacy" for gender equality throughout her career. Ginsburg "leaves an enduring legacy of progress for all women," Pelosi wrote. "Her opinions have unequivocally cemented the precedent that all men and women are created equal." The California Democrat called for Ginsburg to be replaced by a justice who "upholds her commitment to equality, opportunity and justice for all. May it be a source of comfort to her children, Jane and James, her grandchildren Paul, Clara, Miranda and Abigail, and loved ones that so many people around the world mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time."

Pelosi's comments come while Republicans are already urging President Donald Trump to move quickly to nominate a replacement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to hold a vote on whoever Trump nominates, even though he refused to hold a vote in 2016 when President Barack Obama nominated a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Republican sources told Axios Trump will move "within days" to nominate a new justice.


Ginsburg died at her home in Washington, D.C. with her family by her side. According to NPR, she recently told her granddaughter she did not want to be replaced until "a new president is installed."

"Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature," Chief Justice John Robert said in a statement Friday. "We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence, that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tired and resolute champion of justice."