Speaking at the New Castle Airport in Delaware, the former Vice President paid tribute to the Supreme Court justice, 87, who passed away in Washington DC on Friday, surrounded by family.
Biden was chairman of the Senate judiciary committee in 1993 during the Ginsburg’s confirmation hearing. He described her as ”fierce” and ”unflinching” civil rights advocate. In Biden’s view, the US should focus not on her immediate replacement but on her loss and legacy.
The elections are just two months away, Biden said, nothing the fastest justice ever confirmed was 47 days, and the average is nearly 70 days.
Biden highlighted that in 2016, where there were nearly ten months to go before the election, the Republican Senate refused to fill a vacancy under Barack Obama after the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.
Back then, GOP leaders and the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Scalia’s successor nomination should wait for a new head of the country to be elected. The GOP leaders refused to advance Garland’s nomination, backed by Barack Obama. Biden now calls for the same standard to apply in selecting Ginsburg’s replacement.
However, hours after Ginsburg’s death, McConnell made it clear that he would aim to fill her vacancy before the elections. He also noted that Trump’s nominee would receive a vote on the floor of the Senate.
McConnell disagreed with Biden’s remarks, saying that in 2016 the White House and the Senate were controlled by opposite parties, while now they are run by the Republicans.
Several days before her death, Ginsberg dictated her final statement to her granddaughter, Clara Spera. She said that her last wish is not to be replaced until a new president is installed.
Ginsberg’s death would affect both the country and the Supreme Court, political analysts said. Inside the court, she was the leader of the liberal wing. The court is now about to open a new term, and the chief justice no longer holds the final word in closely contested cases.
If Trump decides to nominate a successor now, Republicans could try to move it through the Senate. The GOP changed the rules under Trump so that the Supreme Court justice would need to be confirmed with 51 votes instead of a supermajority.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with Joe Biden’s statement that the White House should wait for the elections before nominating a successor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg?