Ruth Bader Ginsburg remembered as the politics of choosing her successor get underway

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Credit: U.S. Supreme Court via Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered state and U.S. flags flown at half staff throughout Florida in “honor and remembrance” of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as at least one of Florida’s U.S. senators expressed eagerness to replace her before the November election.

The banners will remain lowered until Ginsburg’s burial, the governor said in an order signed following the justice’s death Friday.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and to her family and friends,” DeSantis said on Twitter.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott expressed condolences.

“Ann and I send our thoughts and prayers to the family of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during this time. She was a trailblazer with a distinguished record of service to her country,” Rick Scott said on his Twitter feed.

But he added: “It would be irresponsible to allow an extended vacancy on the Supreme Court. I believe that President Trump’s nominee should get a vote in the U.S. Senate.”

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio didn’t address the succession matter in a written statement posted on his official webpage.

“Even though I disagreed with many of Justice Ginsburg’s decisions on the court, I have never doubted her historic impact on the court and our nation,” Rubio said.

“Her time as a jurist was defined by her passionate commitment to justice and her first-rate intellect. Her life story inspired millions of American women and girls to accept no limits to their dreams. And her famous friendship with the late Justice Scalia serves as a reminder to all of us that Americans with dramatically different views can share a genuine friendship that transcends politics. Jeanette and I have Justice Ginsburg’s family in our prayers. May she Rest In Peace.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced plans to hold a floor vote to fill Ginsburg’s seat notwithstanding his refusal to allow one for Judge Merrick Garland, selected by former President Obama to replace Scalia during the 2016 election year.

In a written statement, McConnell insisted the difference is that now the Senate and White House are in the same party’s hands.

“Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary. Once again, we will keep our promise, he said.

“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

President Trump on Sept. 10 released a new list of potential justices that includes two Floridians: Barbara Lagoa of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, and Carlos Muñiz of the Florida Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, political figures in Florida said their goodbyes to the groundbreaking justice.

“History will remember Justice Ginsburg as a brilliant legal scholar and defender of justice. Her work for the equality of all is a long-lasting gift to Americans,” said Florida U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

“It speaks volumes to her passion for justice and our democracy that her dying wish was to not be replaced until a new president is installed. The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

“It is hard to put into words the profound impact Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had on American history, on the everyday lives of American women, and on issues like reproductive health, civil rights, immigrant rights, voting, and LGBTQ+ equality,” state Rep. Anna Eskamani said in a written statement.

“A legal, cultural and feminist icon, RBG broke glass ceilings and was a stalwart defender of our nation’s best values. I can only hope that each one of us will strive to be as courageous, strong, empathetic, and wise as Justice Ginsburg. Tonight we mourn the loss of a legend, and tomorrow we keep fighting for justice,” she said.

“Today we lost a true American hero. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a trailblazer and a tireless champion of justice and equality. This loss is immeasurable, but we must honor her legacy and keep fighting for justice even in the face of fervent opposition,” Florida Democratic Party chair Terrie Rizzo said.