President Donald Trump was wrapping up a Minnesota rally when news broke of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death Friday night sending shockwaves through the nation and promising to intensify an already tense campaign under a contentious election facing an historic level of cultural unrest.
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg just died,” a reporter told the president as he prepared to board Air Force One.
“She just died? Wow. I didn’t know that. You’re telling me now for the first time,” Trump said while “Tiny Dancer” played on the surrounding speakers at the rally.
“She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman, whether you agreed or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life. I am sad to hear that,” he said.
WATCH: Trump hears from a reporter that Justice Ginsburg has died.
"She just died? Wow. I didn't know that, you're telling me now for the first time."
"She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman…I'm sad to hear that." pic.twitter.com/5Na3vHzP7f
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) September 19, 2020
Ginsburg died Friday due to complications with metastatic pancreatic cancer at the age of 87, leaving open a Supreme Court vacancy just 46 days from the election on Nov. 3. Absent a replacement within the next two months, the court now faces the possibility of an even 4-4 ideological split on the high bench that may be forced to deliberate over the results of a contested convention as the court did twenty years ago in the 2000 case Bush v. Gore.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky soon followed the news of Ginsburg’s passing with a statement offering his condolences, then proceeded to pledge a full Senate vote on Trump’s chosen replacement.
“Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary. Once again, we will keep our promise,” McConnell said. “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
The Senate and the nation mourn the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life.
My full statement: pic.twitter.com/NOwYLhDxIk
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) September 19, 2020
Democrats on the other hand, led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York promised to resist any nomination made before the November election.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” Schumer said.