Pols vow not to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat at Midwood memorial

ruth bader ginsburg
New York Senator Chuck Schumer blasted Senate Republicans for pushing to confirm a new Supreme Court justice before the November election at a Midwood memorial for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Photo by Todd Maisel

United States Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer called efforts to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice to fill the seat of held by Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the 2020 presidential election “despicable” at a Sunday memorial in Midwood honoring the late Supreme Court justice. 

At the event outside James Madison High School — which is both Schumer’s and Ginsburg’s alma mater — the New York senator and Bronx Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasted Senate Republicans for rushing to fill the vacancy, citing their refusal to confirm President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, in 2016, citing the proximity to a national election.

“We all need to be more courageous, to make sure our rights are stabilized, to make sure Mitch McConnell hears us. We need to tell him he’s playing with fire,” Congresswoman Ocasio said at the memorial.

Ginsburg, in one of her final comments before her death, had said, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

Ginsburg’s passing on Sept. 18 comes only six weeks before the November election, compared to the nearly eight months stretch between when Obama nominated Garland and the 2016 election.

Surrounded by candles and memorabilia, Schumer urged attendees to call their Republican Senators and urge them to delay the confirmation proceedings. 

ruth bader ginsburg
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Chuck Schumer mourned the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at a Sept. 20 memorial.Photo by Todd Maisel

“We only need two more senators who say will abide by Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s wish – we need two more,” he said. “If you care about these rights, don’t want wealthy special interests to control the court, then it’s my fervent wish that you call your senator.”

He added that Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to quickly fill Ginsburg’s seat amounts to “shoving the wishes of the hard right down America’s throat, and that despicable.”

President Trump told supporters at a rally that he intends to nominate a female justice to replace Ginsburg, possibly this week. Senate Republicans say they will hold hearings and try to schedule a vote before the November election, claiming that they have the constitutional authority to do so. 

“Going back to George Washington, the Senate has confirmed many nominees to the Supreme Court during a presidential election year,” said Republican Tennessee Senator Alexander Lamar on Sept. 20. “It has refused to confirm several when the President and Senate majority were of different parties. Senator McConnell is only doing what Democrat leaders have said they would do if the shoe were on the other foot.”

This article first appeared in AMNY.com.

ruth bader ginsburg
Locals left signs and candles to memorialize the late Supreme Court judge.Photo by Todd Maisel