Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) blocked a resolution honoring late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Tuesday, taking issue with the part that included her purported dying wish.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced the resolution, which commemorated Ginsburg’s decades on the court, focusing on what she reportedly said to her granddaughter while on her death bed.
Schumer said the resolution originated with Republicans but that he added, “Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish, what she called her most fervent wish, that she not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
“So we simply have added to the exact same text of the resolution the Republicans gave us,” he continued.
“All the kind words and lamentations about Justice Ginsburg from the Republican majority will be totally empty if those republicans ignore her dying wish and instead move to replace her with someone who will tear down everything she built, someone who could turn the clock back on a woman’s right to choose, someone who could turn back the clock on marriage equality, someone who would make it impossible to join a union, someone who could take health care away from tens of millions of Americans, send drug prices soaring, and rip away protections for up to 130 million Americans with preexisting conditions.”
President Donald Trump plans to nominate Ginsburg’s replacement on Saturday and the bulk of Senate Republicans have said they’ll consider the nominee.
Cruz blocked the resolution, accusing Democrats of turning “that bipartisan resolution into a partisan resolution.
“Specifically, the Democratic leader wants to add a statement that Justice Ginsburg’s position should not be filled until a new president is installed, purportedly based on a comment Justice Ginsburg made to family members shortly before she passed,” he said.
“That, of course, is not the standard. Under the Constitution, members of the judiciary do not appoint their own successors.”
Cruz then pointed to comments the justice reportedly made when the Republican senators in 2016 declined to consider President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.
“Justice Ginsburg is reported to have said, quote, the president is elected for four years, not three years. So the power he has in year three continues into year four,” Cruz told colleagues.
Cruz asked Schumer to modify his request so the resolution wouldn’t contain the portion about Ginsburg’s apparent dying wish.
“I believe Justice Ginsburg would easily see through the legal sophistry of the argument of the junior senator from Texas,” the New Yorker replied. “To turn Justice Ginsburg’s dying words against her is so, so beneath the dignity of this body. I do not modify.”