Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died

By Fernando Alfonso III, Veronica Rocha, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Rob Picheta, CNN

Updated 8:10 a.m. ET, September 20, 2020
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10:13 p.m. ET, September 18, 2020

Biden: "The voters should pick the president, and the president should pick the justice"

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks about the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18 in New Castle, Delaware.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks about the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18 in New Castle, Delaware. Carolyn Kaster/AP

In the wake of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said whoever is elected president in November should pick the nominee to fill her seat.

"There is no doubt — let me be clear — that the voters should pick the president, and the president should pick the justice for the senate to consider," Biden said.

Earlier tonight, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said President Trump's nominee to fill her seat "will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate."

9:55 p.m. ET, September 18, 2020

Biden says Ginsburg "practiced the highest American ideals as a justice; equality and justice under the law"

Pool
Pool

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg "not only a giant in the legal profession, but a beloved figure" following her death tonight.

"My heart goes out to all those who cared for her and care about her. And she practiced the highest American ideals as a justice; equality and justice under the law, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg stood for all of us. As I said, she was a beloved figure," Biden said.

Watch:

10:29 p.m. ET, September 18, 2020

Justice Ginsburg's former law clerk describes what it was like working with her: "She was my idol"

Amanda Tyler, former law clerk for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, said the late Supreme Court justice was her idol and made everyone do "their best work."

“I think all of us who have had the privilege, and true honor of serving as a law clerk to the justice are just reeling tonight. It was one of the greatest honors of my life to be her law clerk, and it was so extraordinary and have an experience. She was my idol. How many people get to say they work for their idol?” Tyler told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. 

“She was meticulous. She had the highest standards. I like to analogize working for her with being on a sports team, with someone like Michael Jordan. She was so great, that she made everyone do their best work, and be at their best,” Tyler continued. 

According to CNN's Ariane De Vogue, Ginsburg was working on a book with Tyler at the time of her death. It was based on her life on gender equality.

Watch the interview:

9:33 p.m. ET, September 18, 2020

Mourners are holding a candlelight vigil outside of the Supreme Court

From CNN's David Williams

Kalina Newman
Kalina Newman

Kalina Newman said she was having dinner with her boyfriend in Alexandria, Virginia, when she got the news that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died. She rushed to the Supreme Court when she heard.

“I immediate got my meal packed up, and we went to the grocery store to pick up flowers,” Newman told CNN.

People had already put out signs and candles when they got there.

“As soon as I saw the candles and felt how peaceful it was, I began to cry,” she said.

Newman is the Eastern Regional Communications Coordinator for the AFL-CIO.

“As a young woman with a passion for progressive politics, she taught me to never take no for an answer,” she said when asked what Ginsburg meant to her.

Kalina Newman
Kalina Newman

10:00 p.m. ET, September 18, 2020

Trump says Ginsburg "was an amazing woman who led an amazing life"

From CNN's NikkI Carvajal 

President Donald Trump reacts to the news of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the tarmac of Bemidji Regional Airport after addressing supporters during a "Great American Comeback" rally at in Bemidji, Minnesota, on September 18.
President Donald Trump reacts to the news of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the tarmac of Bemidji Regional Airport after addressing supporters during a "Great American Comeback" rally at in Bemidji, Minnesota, on September 18. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump appeared to hear the news about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's passing from reporters. 

"Just now?" he responded, when asked about her death. 

"She led an amazing life. What else can you say?" Trump said. "She was an amazing woman whether you agree or not she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life." 

After his comments, Trump walked up the stairs to board Air Force One. Trump had been holding a rally in Minnesota when news of Ginsburg's death broke.

Watch the moment:

9:38 p.m. ET, September 18, 2020

Ginsburg's high school: Her legacy will live on in our hallways

From CNN's Alisha Ebrahimji

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s high school, James Madison High School in Brooklyn, just posted about the late Supreme Court justice. 

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of JMHS alum Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her advocacy and dedication to civil liberties, and her tremendous legacy, will live on in the hallways of Madison through our Law Institute," the school wrote.

 Here's the full post:

 

9:21 p.m. ET, September 18, 2020

At least 4 GOP senators have said they will oppose a vote for a new justice before the election

From CNN's Jamie Gangel, Manu Raju and Lauren Fox

Susan Collins wears a mask while participating in a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on May 12 in Washington.
Susan Collins wears a mask while participating in a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on May 12 in Washington. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Here is a list of four Republicans senators who have said they will oppose a vote before the election:

  1. Maine Sen. Susan Collins told the New York Times, “I think that’s too close, I really do."
  2. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski in September said, "Fair is fair," and she would not vote to replace RBG before the election."
  3. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham in October 2018 said, "If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump's term, and the primary process has started, we'll wait to the next election. And I've got a pretty good chance of being the Judiciary [Chairman]. Hold the tape." 
  4. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said in July he would follow the Biden rule, "I'm just following what was established by the Biden Rule in 1986 and then emphasized by him in 1992... They set the pattern. I didn't set the pattern. But it was very legitimate that you can't have one rule for Democratic presidents and another rule for Republican presidents."
9:25 p.m. ET, September 18, 2020

Connecticut governor orders flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Ginsburg

Gov. Ned Lamont speaks at the 19th annual 9/11 Memorial ceremony at Sherwood Island State Park Thursday, September 9, in Westport, Connecticut.
Gov. Ned Lamont speaks at the 19th annual 9/11 Memorial ceremony at Sherwood Island State Park Thursday, September 9, in Westport, Connecticut. Brad Harrigan/Hartford Courant/AP

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont directed US and state flags across to be lowered to half-staff “immediately and remain at half-staff until sunset on the date of interment, which has not yet been determined," he said in a statement following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"Accordingly, since no flag should fly higher than the US flag, all other flags, including state, municipal, corporate, or otherwise, should also be lowered during this same duration of time,” Lamont said, calling Ginsburg “a fierce and fiery champion for fairness and equality for all.”

Elsewhere around the northeast: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy called Ginsburg “an inspiration to countless young women and girls across our nation, and around the globe.”

We have been made a better nation, and a better people, through her reasoned approach and sharp-minded opinions,” Murphy said.

 

9:23 p.m. ET, September 18, 2020

Ginsburg planned to retire under Hillary Clinton as first woman president

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, right, listens as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, in Washington.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, right, listens as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, in Washington. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg planned to retire under Hillary Clinton if she was elected president, NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg said this evening.

"She loved her job," said Totenberg. "She had planned, in fact, to retire and be replaced by a nominee of the first woman president because she really thought Hillary Clinton would be elected."

"Fate dealt her... the cards not that way and she just soldiered on," Totenberg added.

Totenberg went on to report that Ginsberg had expressed that wish in a dictated statement her granddaughter, Clara Spera, just days before her death.

"My most fervent wish is, that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed," Ginsburg said in the statement, according to Totenberg.

"She knew what was to come, that her death will have profound consequences for the court and the country," said Totenberg, speaking with CNN's anchor Anderson Cooper this evening.