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Mourning — And Anticipation — Follows Death Of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg


This hour, we are remembering the life and legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died at her home in Washington, D.C., last night at the age of 87. Mourners have been gathering in front of the Supreme Court to pay tribute to Ginsburg.

SHONDA JEFFERSON: It's just a sad moment, you know. But it's beautiful to see all of these people have come together to honor her legacy and her life and everything that she did for equal rights.

DWAYNE BB FRANKIE: We were out at dinner, and I looked at my phone, and I said - I just was, like, oh, my God. Oh, my God. And I didn't even think it would hit me like that. And unfortunately, without her here right now, I'm afraid for our country.

MARTIN: We heard there from Shonda Jefferson (ph) and Dwayne B.B. Frankie (ph). There are, of course, major political implications to Justice Ginsburg's death. Last night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed that President Trump's nominee to succeed her will get a vote in the Senate, suggesting this will happen before Election Day - just 45 days away now, while early voting has already begun in some places.

You will remember that in 2016, McConnell refused to schedule a vote on President Obama's election-year nominee to the court, Merrick Garland, saying then that it should be up to the voters to decide. This prompted this comment from Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, earlier today on NPR.


PATRICK LEAHY: I'm now a dean of the Senate. I've been there longer than anybody out there. I've seen things I question, but I've never seen political hypocrisy at this level.

MARTIN: Now some Republican senators, including Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, face an uncomfortable choice. In an interview with Alaska Public Media just hours before Ginsburg's death, Murkowski cited McConnell's precedent and said this.


LISA MURKOWSKI: I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. We are 50-some days away from an election.

MARTIN: A handful of other Republican senators have expressed similar misgivings. And then there's Ginsburg's own statement, dictated to her granddaughter just days before her death, saying that her most fervent wish, quote, "was that she not be replaced until a new president is installed." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.