WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman ever to serve on the nation’s highest court: 

“Justice Ginsburg was a principled, dignified defender of justice for all, and her legacy will long be remembered. She dedicated her entire career, on and off the Court, to protecting rights for women and LGBTQ individuals, and advancing justice for millions of people in America. Her wisdom served to remind us that the Supreme Court belonged to all of us, not to any party or politician. Her rulings were the embodiment of those words etched on the building in which she served – equal justice under law. Freedom has lost a stalwart champion. We join the nation in grieving this tremendous loss and extend our condolences to her family and loved ones.

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“Under no circumstances should the Senate consider a replacement for Justice Ginsburg until after inauguration. People are already voting in an election where the presidency and Congress hang in the balance. Majority Leader McConnell left Justice Scalia’s seat open for more than a year because the vacancy occurred nine months before the general election. If Trump and McConnell have any decency and self-respect, they will honor Justice Ginsburg’s final request: ‘My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.’ 

“It would be an insult to her legacy for this president to select a justice he promises will assail our rights and undermine, upend, and unravel our democratic norms for generations. We demand a Supreme Court that is just and fair. We cannot let Trump get a third justice who will jeopardize racial justice, health care access, and so many more issues. Our fundamental rights are at risk. To honor Justice Ginsburg’s legacy, we need our Court to recognize and protect the rights of all of us.”

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