National, state officials share condolences on passing of RBG

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday, Sept. 18 of metastatic pancreatic cancer, according to the court. At 87, she was the oldest sitting member.

Chief Justice John Roberts mourned Ginsburg’s passing. “Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her — a tireless and resolute champion of justice,” Roberts said in a statement.

Statement by Senator Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff on the Passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 

Tonight we mourn, we honor, and we pray for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her family. Tomorrow we fight for her legacy. 

For all who believe in the power of the law as a force for change, Justice Ginsburg was and will always be a titan. She was a relentless defender of justice in our country and a legal mind for the ages. She also remained, throughout her life, a proud daughter of Brooklyn, with immigrant roots and a fire lit from an early age as a champion for progress and equality.  

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Justice Ginsburg was known to pose the question, ‘What is the difference between a bookkeeper in the Garment District and a Supreme Court justice?” Her answer: “One generation.” She never forgot where she came from, or those who sacrificed to help her grow into the historic icon we all came to revere.

Even as we focus on the life that she led and process tonight’s grief, her legacy and the future of the court to which she dedicated so much can’t disappear from our effort to honor her. In some of her final moments with her family, she shared her fervent wish to “not be replaced until a new President is installed.” We will honor that wish. 

Justice Ginsburg used every ounce of life she was bestowed to urge our nation down a path toward equal justice. Doug and I send our heartfelt prayers to Jane and James, and the entire Ginsburg family, particularly on this holy day of Rosh Hashanah. According to Jewish tradition, on Rosh Hashanah we begin a period of reflection. Tonight, we reflect on the legacy of Justice Ginsburg and we honor her belief in creating a fair and just world by recommitting to fight for that justice.

Sen. Bernie Sanders Statement on Passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote:

"The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a tremendous loss to our country. She was an extraordinary champion of justice and equal rights, and will be remembered as one of the great justices in modern American history.

"Unfortunately, we’ve already heard tonight from Sen. McConnell that he has decided to go against Justice Ginsburg’s dying wishes and violate his own past statements in order to bring a judge nominated by President Trump to the floor of the United States Senate. 

"That’s in direct contradiction of his statement in 2016, when he said Supreme Court nominees should not be voted on during a presidential election year: ‘Our view is this: Give the people a voice in filling this vacancy,’ he said. McConnell is cementing a shameful legacy of  brazen hypocrisy.

"Thankfully not all Senate Republicans agree. 

"Just today, Sen. Lisa Murkowski came out against an appointment this close to an election. ‘I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee,’ she said. ‘We are 50 some days away from an election.’ In addition, several of McConnell’s other colleagues have previously stated they’re against confirming a new justice this close to an election. Sen. Chuck Grassley said in May, ‘You can’t have one rule for Democratic presidents and another rule for Republican presidents.’ Sen. Susan Collins said,  ‘I think that’s too close, I really do,’ when asked by The New York Times about appointing a justice in October. 

"But no one has been clearer than Judiciary Committee Chair Sen. Lindsay Graham. He promised in 2018 that ‘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.' 

"The right thing to do here is clear. The Republicans in the Senate know it, and many of them have stated it clearer than I could. We should let voters decide. Period."

Milwaukee Common Council President Cavalier Johnson wrote: 

I was deeply saddened to hear the news that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away yesterday at the age of 87.  Our country has lost a leader and a revolutionary who will not be forgotten.  

As only the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg leaves behind a trail-blazing legacy, one that includes being a fierce advocate for women’s rights and a champion for justice. Known as the “Notorious R.B.G.” she was in many ways a cultural icon as well. She inspired a generation to be individuals, free thinkers, and stand up for what is right.   

Justice Ginsburg’s character and principals were on display even in her final days as she dictated to her granddaughter, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”   

I hope those in Washington, D.C., and namely the United States Senate, heed those words and postpone rushing a new Supreme Court nominee until after the upcoming election - as was the practice under the current Senate Majority Leader during the 2016 presidential election year.  

Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs wrote: 

"In service and in life, fighting for a better tomorrow is never easy. That said, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made it look easy. As only the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, she was a trailblazer for women’s equality whose impact on the law will be felt for generations to come.

In the midst of her own devastating health battles with cancer she remained committed to working at this nation’s highest court on cases that help set the trajectory of this country. Last evening, at the age of 87 she passed away.

At such a politically divisive time in our nation she proved to be an even-keeled advocate who helped add reason and stability to the Supreme Court and its decisions. She always encouraged others to “fight for things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you."

Justice Ginsburg’s wit and candor will be sorely missed.

Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg will have no problem being remembered exactly as she wished 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, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has.”

Condolences to her family and this nation should be eternally grateful for her service."