Sadly, news broke this week that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died after a battle with her most recent recurrence of pancreatic cancer.
While political leaders are now left to battle over whether to vote for her replacement now or wait until after the current presidential term, one recent report shows that Ginsburg had been prepared to voluntarily step down if the 2016 election had gone the other way, as reported by Smithsonian Magazine.
“Replaced by a nominee of the first woman president”
The revelation came from NPR’s Nina Totenberg during an appearance on CNN shortly after reports confirmed Ginsburg’s death.
“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,” Totenberg said.
Instead, the justice, who was 83 when Trump was elected, opted to remain on the bench in apparent hopes of outlasting the Trump administration.
In July, she confirmed her latest cancer diagnosis and said she had begun chemotherapy treatment, but dismissed speculation that she would be retiring.
“I have often said I would remain a member of the Court as long as I can do the job full steam,” she said at the time. “I remain fully able to do that.”
“My most fervent wish”
Even during her final days, Ginsburg’s granddaughter said her dying wish related to her replacement on the nation’s highest court, as reported by the Boston Globe.
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” Clara Spera is quoted as saying shortly after her grandmother’s death.
Of course, political positions have changed since 2016, at which time Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) opposed a vote on Merrick Garland, then-President Barack Obama’s pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, McConnell says the situation is different and most GOP leaders appear on board for a confirmation vote prior to the next inauguration.
Both parties are gearing up for a fierce political battle — but with a clear majority in the Senate, this fight appears to be McConnell’s to lose.