Washington political leaders on Friday mourned the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In tweets and emailed statements, politicians of both parties paid respect to Ginsburg’s trailblazing role as the second woman appointed to the nation’s high court — while Democrats vowed to fight to keep her seat vacant until after the 2020 presidential election. Ginsburg, who had battled cancer and other ailments, was 87.
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called Ginsburg, whom she voted to confirm during her first year in the Senate in 1993, her “North Star.”
In a statement, Murray said: “I’ll remember her as a friend, a role model, and a woman who opened doors for all the rest of us with her genius and her relentless pursuit of justice, freedom, and equality for each and every one of us, no matter who we are.”
Like other Democrats across the country, Murray pledged to fight to keep Ginsburg’s seat open until after the Nov. 3 election. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave her all to us, and I will give mine to making sure the American people have their next President before her seat is filled,” she said.
Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., in a statement lauded Ginsburg as “a giant” and “a fierce warrior against gender discrimination.”
U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, called on people to carry on Ginsburg’s pursuit of justice. “I am fully committed to continuing the legacy of this beloved ‘shero’: from finally ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment to protecting abortion rights, workers’ rights, LGTBQ+ rights, and civil rights for all,” she said in a statement.
Gov. Jay Inslee wrote in a tweet, “We have lost one of the greatest American patriots to ever serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves an enormous legacy behind of upholding women’s access to health care, voting rights and equality under the law for the LGBTQ community.”
Inslee added it would be “the height of hypocrisy” for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to confirm a new justice before the outcome of the November election. He called on Republicans in the Senate to delay a vote.
State Rep. Drew MacEwen, R-Union, Mason County, lauded Ginsburg’s “dignity & grace.”
“Justice Ginsburg certainly left her mark on the Court and served our nation with dignity & grace,” wrote MacEwen. “Regardless of whether one agreed with her or not, there is no denying her impact. Rest In Peace”
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson wrote in a tweet, “We lost an American Hero today.”
Claudia Balducci, chair of the King County Council, in a statement called Ginsburg’s service and accomplishments on gender equality and women’s rights unparalleled.
“As co-founder the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, she helped lead the fight against gender discrimination and as a practicing lawyer, her contributions to advance the rights of women under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution last to this day,” Balducci said.