Statement on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Democrats across the world are devastated today by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg - our dearly beloved RBG. A light that we all looked to has been extinguished. A tireless champion of justice has been taken. Our hearts and prayers go out to her family and those touched personally by her loss.

Justice Ginsburg was a pioneer and giant in law and civil rights. She pioneered jurisprudence which focused on breaking discrimination against women. Her career culminated with nearly thirty years as a member of the U.S. Supreme Court, where she served from 1993 until her passing last night after a long and hard fought battle against cancer.

It is to the Supreme Court that we must immediately turn our attention. Her passing left a vacancy on the bench 6 weeks before the presidential election. In 2016 the Republicans determined that a new Supreme Court Justice shouldn't be seated in the midst of a presidential election - that the people of the United States should elect a president and that president should fill the vacant seat. But now the Republicans say the opposite.

Vice President Joe Biden said last night, "Tonight, and in the coming days, we should be focused on the loss of Justice Ginsburg and her enduring legacy. But just so there is no doubt, let me be clear: The voters should pick a President, and that President should select a successor to Justice Ginsburg. This was the position that the Republican Senate took in 2016, when there were nearly nine months before the election. That is the position the United States Senate must take now, when the election is less than two months away. We are talking about the Constitution and the Supreme Court. That institution should not be subject to politics."