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Trump orders flags at half-staff to honor 'trailblazer' Ginsburg

Trump orders flags at half-staff to honor 'trailblazer' Ginsburg
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE has ordered flags across the country to be flown at half-staff to honor the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgMcConnell tees up Barrett nomination, setting up rare weekend session Jaime Harrison raises million in two weeks for South Carolina Senate bid Dozens of legal experts throw weight behind Supreme Court term limit bill MORE, who died on Friday at the age of 87.

Trump praised Ginsburg, the court's liberal leader and a champion for gender equality, as a "trailblazer" in a proclamation released by the White House late Friday night.

"Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an inspiration to all Americans," Trump said, noting she was just the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court. 

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Trump praised her "quick mind" and noted that "she brought flair to the bench with her stylish jabots and her warm friendships among colleagues, even those with whom she often disagreed, most notably with the late Justice Antonin Scalia."

"A fighter to the end, Justice Ginsburg defeated cancer and the odds numerous times – all while continuing to serve on the Court. Her commitment to the law and her fearlessness in the face of death inspired countless 'RBG' fans, and she continues to serve as a role model to countless women lawyers. Her legacy and contribution to American history will never be forgotten," he added.

As part of the order, flags will be flown at half-staff at the White House and all public buildings and grounds, military bases, naval stations and overseas diplomatic facilities until Ginsburg is laid to rest. Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Following debate, Biden hammers Trump on coronavirus | Study: Universal mask-wearing could save 130,000 lives | Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight On The Money: Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight | Landlords, housing industry sue CDC to overturn eviction ban Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight MORE (D-Calif.) also ordered flags at the U.S. Capitol to be flown at half-staff, as is tradition.

Flags had already been lowered at the White House and nearby Eisenhower Executive Office Building when Trump arrived back at the White House just before midnight on Friday following his campaign rally in Minnesota.

News of Ginsburg's death broke as Trump spoke at the rally, with the president continuing for more than an hour unaware that the longtime justice had died.

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Trump learned of Ginsburg's death shortly after stepping off stage, telling reporters that she was "an amazing woman who led an amazing life." In a later written statement, he called her a "titan of the law" and offered prayers for her family.

The Supreme Court said that Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was nominated to the bench by then-President Clinton in 1993.

Ginsburg's death has set off a battle in the Senate over whether to confirm a replacement so close to the election.

Senate Democrats, Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFacebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus MORE and former President Obama all maintained on Friday that voters should decide who picks the next nominee in November.

Democrats noted that Republicans blocked Obama's final nominee to the court, Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandMcConnell tees up Barrett nomination, setting up rare weekend session Republicans advance Barrett's Supreme Court nomination after Democrats boycott committee vote Democrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination MORE, throughout 2016 and insisted that whoever won that year's presidential election should nominate a new pick.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: Following debate, Biden hammers Trump on coronavirus | Study: Universal mask-wearing could save 130,000 lives | Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight On The Money: Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight | Landlords, housing industry sue CDC to overturn eviction ban Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight MORE (R-Ky.), however, vowed in a statement Friday night that Republicans would hold a vote on a nominee put forward by Trump.

Republicans hold a slim 53-47 majority in the Senate, meaning they can afford only three defections amid a tough reelection year for several vulnerable incumbents.

Some GOP senators were notably silent on Friday night, while several others said a vote should go forward.