Over 1 Million Sign Petition Demanding Supreme Court Nominee Decision Be Delayed

More than a million people have signed a petition demanding Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's U.S. Supreme Court seat not be filled until next year.

Ginsburg's death at 87 last week has created a vacancy on the nation's highest court, just weeks before the presidential election.

President Donald Trump said he expects to announce his choice of nominee by the end of this week. Democrats have objected, arguing the decision should be made by the winner of the November 3 election.

Now, an online petition demanding lawmakers wait until after Inauguration Day in 2021 to fill the Supreme Court has amassed more than a million signatures.

The campaign, launched by Rahna Epting, the executive director of political action committee MoveOn, cites what has been reported as Ginsburg's final statement—that her seat should not be filled until after the election.

"Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dying wish was that her Supreme Court seat not be filled until a new president was installed," the petition states.

"She was a champion for gender equality, among other issues rooted in fairness and justice for all. With less than 50 days until the election and voting already underway in many states, it's important that we demand all senators pledge not to move forward with any nominee until after the next inauguration."

The petition also noted that Republican lawmakers blocked President Obama's Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland, who was nominated more than seven months before the 2016 election.

"Every senator from across the political spectrum must acknowledge the danger posed by rushing to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat so close to an election," the petition said.

"We all remember Mitch McConnell's blockade of President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland 237 days before the 2016 election.

"The 2020 election has already started ... it would be a truly inexcusable act of hypocrisy and injustice for Trump and Senate Republicans to move any nomination forward."

Epting has been contacted for additional comment.

Trump has said his nominee will be a woman, telling reporters on Monday that five women "are being looked at and vetted very carefully."

The Associated Press has reported that the president already interviewed Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the federal appeals court judge who has emerged as the favorite to replace Ginsburg.

On Monday, Trump also said he may meet with Barbara Lagoa, another candidate on his shortlist, when he travels down to Florida this week. Lagoa, a Cuban American judge, was nominated by Trump to serve on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals last year.

Ruth Ginsburg
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivers remarks at the Georgetown Law Center in Washington, DC, on September 12, 2019. Tom Brenner/Getty Images