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AFP
September 20, 2020

US Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg dies at 8

World

AFP
September 20, 2020

WASHINGTON: US Supreme Court Justice and liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday, opening a crucial vacancy on the high court expected to set off a pitched political battle at the peak of the presidential campaign.

Affectionately known as the Notorious RBG, the 87-year-old Ginsburg was the oldest of nine Supreme Court justices.

She died after a fight with pancreatic cancer, the court announced, saying she passed away “surrounded by her family at her home in Washington, DC.”

Coming just 46 days before an election in which President Donald Trump lags his Democratic rival Joe Biden in the polls, the vacancy offers the Republican a chance to lock in a conservative majority at the court for decades to come.

Trump issued a statement praising Ginsburg as a “titan of the law”, but gave no indication whether he intended to press ahead with a nomination. Accolades flowed in for the pioneering Jewish justice. “Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature,” said Chief Justice John Roberts.

US President Donald Trump on Saturday urged Republican lawmakers to back his upcoming nomination for the Supreme Court “without delay” as the issue roiled the election campaign.

Trump tweeted that the “most important” decision that Republicans had been elected to make was “the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices.”

“We have this obligation, without delay!” he added.

Coming just before the election in which Trump lags his Democratic rival Joe Biden in the polls, the vacancy offers the Republicans a chance to lock in a conservative majority at the court for decades to come.

Democrats have demanded a delay in the nomination until after the election -- an uphill battle given the control Republicans have in the Senate, which must approve the president’s nominee.

Trump said in August he would have no qualms about naming a new justice so close to the election, and last week he unveiled 20 names of possible choices, all deeply conservative.