ATLANTA — The Georgia political world is reacting to the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Ginsburg died Friday at 87 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was appointed to the U.S Supreme Court by Pres. Bill Clinton in 1993 and was the second female Justice.
Gov. Brian Kemp has ordered that flags be lowered to half-staff on all state grounds and buildings starting Friday night through the day of her interment. Funeral plans have not yet been announced.
Kemp said in a tweet that Ginsburg was a “trailblazer, poured her heart and soul into public service, and made lasting, positive impact on our Great Nation.”
Former President Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsburg to the Court of Appeals in 1980. Carter said Ginsburg was a “powerful legal mind and a staunch advocate for gender equality.”
The Atlanta City Council also released the following statement:
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a trailblazer in every sense of the word. She broke gender barriers as an attorney and professor, shaped the legal and political landscape through her historic tenure as a justice on the Supreme Court, and in many ways, will forever be known as a judicial and cultural icon. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family as our nation grieves this loss. We will miss her presence and voice, but we will always remember her many milestones and her fight for justice and equality.”
U.S Senator David Perdue released the following statement Friday night and mentioned Ginsburg’s friendship with former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016.
“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a trailblazer and brilliant legal mind. She grew up in a time when the idea of a woman on the Supreme Court seemed unimaginable, yet with hard work, tenacity, and grit, she blazed a path for all women. Justice Ginsburg’s friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia was an example of rising above ideological differences and finding common good in humanity that should inspire all of us. Bonnie and I join the nation in mourning the loss of Justice Ginsburg, and we are praying for her family.”
Georgia Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Jon Ossoff, who is facing Perdue in Senate race, released the following statement:
"Justice Ginsburg was a brilliant jurist who profoundly advanced America’s evolution as a Constitutional republic truer to its founding principle of universal human rights. Justice Ginsburg was an ardent and effective champion for American women, advancing gender equality through both her jurisprudence and her personal example. Alisha and I both feel deeply fortunate to have shared time on this Earth with Justice Ginsburg and deeply saddened that she has departed us on this Erev Rosh Hashanah. We extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to Justice Ginsburg’s family. Justice Ginsburg’s memory and legacy will forever be blessings.”
U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler’s statement focused on supporting President Donald Trump in nominating a new Supreme Court Justice.
“My prayers are with the Ginsburg family. Our country’s future is at stake, and President Trump has every right to pick a new justice before the election. I look forward to supporting a strict constructionist who will protect the right to life, defend the Second Amendment, fight for religious freedom, and safeguard our conservative values.”
Georgia Senator candidate and current state representative Doug Collins had a more scathing response to Ginsburg’s death, writing, “RIP to the more than 30 million innocent babies that have been murdered during the decades that Ruth Bader Ginsburg defended pro-abortion laws.”
Channel 2 anchor Jovita Moore spoke to Justice Leah Ward Sears, a retired Georgia Supreme Court justice, about what is ahead. Sears agreed it is going to be a historic fight between Democrats and Republicans to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat.
“It’s going to be a battle and it’s going to be a Titanic battle,” Sears said. "We’re going to see how this plays out. We saw what happened when Obama tried to make an appointment in the last nine months of his term and he was thwarted.
Sears said she doubts if there’s any time to get an appointment through in the next six weeks. Election Day is in just 45 days.
Channel 2 political analyst Bill Crane said this is a game-changer for the election.
“This puts the issue of Roe. Vs. Wade, women’s rights to legal abortion, right at the center of the discussion,” Crane said. “I think one of the first questions at the first debate will be, ‘Who will you nominate for the U.S. Supreme Court?'”
Crane said whether or not he is elected, Pres. Trump can make a nomination.
“I don’t think there’s any conceivable way the Senate, even under the Republican leadership of Mitch McConnell, could cram Supreme Court confirmation hearings into this amount of time," Crane said.