The granddaughter of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has revealed more about the trailblazing judge’s “most fervent” final wish, as President Donald Trump and his allies spread misinformation about the reported comments.
Clara Spera, a lawyer and granddaughter to the 87-year-old justice, told BBC she spent a lot of time with her grandmother before she passed away on Friday due to complications resulting from metastatic pancreatic cancer. The two discussed, among other things, whether justice Ginsburg had any last words she wanted to share that were not already made public.
“She dictated the following sentence to me: ‘My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,’” Ms Spera told the news outlet. “I read it back to her, she was very happy with that, and when I asked her, ‘Is that it? Is there anything else you’d like to say?’ She said, ‘The rest of my work is a matter of public record.’ So that was all she wanted to add.”
The interview comes just days after the Supreme Court justice’s death, as Republicans on Capitol Hill have immediately launched an effort to nominate and confirm a replacement within six weeks of the presidential election. That effort has notably contradicted the GOP’s refusal to hold a confirmation process for Judge Merrick Garland, nominated to the Supreme Court by former President Barack Obama in 2016.
Mr Trump seemingly undermined the late justice’s reported final wish after teasing that he would soon announce the name of his nominee as early as this week in an interview on Monday morning with Fox News, falsely suggesting the statement may have been fabricated by Democratic leaders in Washington.
“I don’t know that she said that, or was that written out by Adam Schiff and [Chuck] Schumer and Pelosi?” the president said on the conservative network’s morning show, Fox & Friends, adding: “I would be more inclined to the second.”
By Monday night, one of the network’s most popular hosts appeared to echo Mr Trump’s comments while slamming the late justice’s last reported wish.
Tucker Carlson began his show by discussing the comments, describing her wish as a “pathetic” sentiment if it were actually true.
“Keep in mind, we don't know actually what Ruth Bader Ginsburg's final words were," Mr Carlson said. "Did she really leave this world fretting about a presidential election?”
“We don’t believe that for a second,” the host added. “If it were true, it would be pathetic because life is bigger than politics, even this year.”
In her interview with BBC, Ms Spera said her grandmother “fundamentally was someone who believed in the institutions that she served” who felt that “keeping politics out of the Supreme Court was a very important thing”.
“She was confirmed by the senate 96 to three, and one of her biggest boosters at the time was a very Republican senator, Orrin Hatch. She never imagined until it was far too late that the Supreme Court nomination and confirmation process would have become as fraught as it had under President Trump,” Ms Spera said. “She didn’t step down, I believe, in part, because of her faith in these institutions.”