Pelosi orders Capitol flags at half-staff to honor Ginsburg
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday night ordered flags at the U.S. Capitol to be flown at half-staff following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill shared the news about Pelosi’s order on Twitter. Hammill confirmed to The Hill that the flags would remain at half-staff until Ginsburg is laid to rest, as is tradition.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, when an associate justice dies, flags are “to be displayed at half-staff from the day of death until interment.”
Ginsburg died Friday night at the age of 87 following a battle with metastatic pancreatic cancer.
A private interment service will be held at Arlington National Cemetery, the Supreme Court said, though a date has not been released.
Flags at the Capitol were previously lowered to half-staff earlier this summer following the death of Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) in July.
Ginsburg was the court’s liberal leader and was a trailblazing figure on gender equality.
“Every woman and girl, and therefore every family, in America has benefitted from her brilliance,” Pelosi tweeted Friday night.
News of Ginsburg’s death prompted a visceral reaction on social media, with Democrats voicing concerns that President Trump and Senate Republicans will attempt to fill the vacancy even though there is only 46 days until the election.
In early 2016, after former Justice Antonin Scalia died, former President Obama put forward Merrick Garland as his pick for the high court, but the nomination was blocked by Senate Republicans who claimed that the American people should be able to have a say in who the next Supreme Court justice was through that year’s election.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Friday night echoed what McConnell said four years ago.
“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 tweeted.
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.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 18, 2020
However, McConnell indicated in a statement late Friday that Republicans would move to confirm a nominee put forward by Trump.
Four Senate Republicans would need to break ranks if Democrats want to block Trump. A handful of GOP senators have previously said that they would not vote to confirm a new justice to the bench so close to the general election.
“When Republicans held off Merrick Garland it was because nine months prior to the election was too close, we needed to let people decide,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said last month. “And I agreed to do that. If we now say that months prior to the election is OK when nine months was not, that is a double standard and I don’t believe we should do it. … I would not support it.”
In 2018, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said: “This may make you feel better, but I really don’t care. … If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait until the next election.”
Updated: 9:08 p.m.