Ruth Bader Ginsburg's last wish: 'I will not be replaced until a new president is installed'
WASHINGTON – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, days before her death Friday, shared her last wish: that her replacement to the highest court in the land be picked by a president other than Donald Trump.
"My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed," Ginsburg said in a statement dictated to her granddaughter, Clara Spera, according to NPR.
Ginsburg, 87, who died of complications from cancer, had said she didn't want to retire until she reached 90 years old, as many on the left worried about her health.
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'I would like to stay here'
The gender equality champion told CNN in 2018 that she hoped for at least five more years on the Supreme Court, at 85 years old expressing her desire to outlast Trump's first term. Ginsburg was hospitalized and treated for multiple bouts of cancer. She said she would stay in her position for as long as she was able.
“As long as I can do the job full-steam, I would like to stay here,” she told USA TODAY in 2013. “I have to take it year by year at my age, and who knows what could happen next year? Right now, I know I’m OK.”
Ginsburg's death opens up the potential for a heated battle between Republicans and Democrats over the process of filling the vacancy on the court so close to the presidential election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and the White House signaled after her death Friday night that they would move soon, and McConnell vowed to bring a Trump nominee to the floor.
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Ginsburg's vision of the court's makeup
Ginsburg, only the second woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court after Sandra Day O'Connor, made it clear her vision for the court's future was one of female leadership. When asked how many women out of nine spots would be enough on the court, Ginsburg replied, "My answer is when there are nine."
"In her work and days, she strived mightily to make what was momentous for women in 1981 ... no longer extraordinary but entirely expectable," Ginsburg said of O'Connor. "I am among legions of women endeavoring to follow her lead."
Ginsburg said she wanted to be remembered "as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability."
"And to help repair tears in her society," she continued, "to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has.”