BANGOR – Mainers are joining people across the country in mourning the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The US Supreme Court Justice passed away at her home in Washington at the age of 87 Friday night.
Governor Janet Mills released a statement honoring Ginsburg’s life and legacy. She said she met Justice Ginsburg when Mills was Attorney General of Maine.
“She was a gracious, tenacious person with great intellect who was devoted to the integrity of the Court and to the rule of law as it applies to every person in our country,” Mills said.
Mills also called Ginsburg “one of the greatest Americans ever.”
Gov. Mills ordered flags to be flown at half-staff statewide until the internment of Justice Ginsburg, in accordance with a directive of the President.
Republican Senator Susan Collins also released a statement, saying she got to know Ginsburg personally when other female senators had dinner with her and former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Senator Collins called Ginsburg “a trailblazer for women’s rights, a fierce champion for equality, and an extremely accomplished American who broke countless barriers in the field of law.”
Collins also noted that Ginsburg “surmounted discrimination and sexism through her brilliance, tenacity, and wit, becoming one of the most prominent legal luminaries of our time.”
Speaker of the Maine State House Sara Gideon, who is also the Democratic candidate for US Senate, released a statement reflecting on Ginsburg’s impact. Gideon noted how the Supreme Court Justice fought for women’s rights and reproductive rights. “Let us continue that fight in her memory and be inspired by her example for generations to come,” Gideon said in a statement.
“Though Justice Ginsburg was a force on the bench who never backed down from her ideals, she also was a warm colleague and friend who built strong relationships across the ideological spectrum – understanding that America is better when cooperation and kindness win out over endless political battles,” said Maine’s Independent Senator Angus King in a statement.
King said he believes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should honor Ginsburg’s life and legacy by not filling her vacancy until the Presidential election has been decided, which was Ginsburg’s final wish.
Democratic Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree echoed the sentiment.
In a statement, Pingree said “with less than two months until the election, the Senate should not confirm anyone for this seat until the voters have spoken. Senate Republicans refused to consider President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court at the end of his presidency and President Trump should be given the exact same treatment.”
Senator Collins did not comment on whether she thinks the nomination for Ginsburg’s successor should happen now or after the election.