U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi paid tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg outside the Supreme Court on Sunday (September 18), amid a fight to fill her seat.
Trailed by media, Pelosi laid a bouquet of cream colored flowers at a makeshift memorial to the trailblazing Supreme Court Justice.
Pelosi made no public statements. The leading Democrat paused briefly in front of the memorial and made the sign of the cross before leaving.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will speak in Philadelphia on Sunday about his rival President Donald Trump’s plan to name a third justice to the Supreme Court, a move that would cement a 6-3 conservative majority.
Trump on Saturday (September 19) said he will make his nomination this week and named Amy Coney Barrett of the Chicago-based 7th Circuit and Barbara Lagoa of the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit as possible candidates to fill the vacancy created by Friday’s death of liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The passing of Ginsburg upended the November election contests, energizing both Trump’s conservative base – eager to see the court overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide – and presenting new complications in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate.
Trump needs Senate approval for any pick, but his fellow Republicans hold a 53-47 majority and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made confirming judges a top priority.
Democrats are still seething over the Republican-controlled Senate’s refusal in 2016 to act on Democratic President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, to replace conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who died 10 months before that election.
At the time, McConnell said the Senate should not act on a nominee during an election year, but he and other top Republican senators have since reversed that stance.
They have time: While elections are on Nov. 3, a new Congress won’t be sworn in until Jan. 3, with the winner of the presidential contest sworn in on Jan. 20.
(Production: Deborah Gembara)