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Joe Biden said Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg "never failed, she was fierce and unflinching in her pursuit of civil and legal right and civil rights of everyone," after learning of her death Friday night.

What he's saying: Ginsburg was "not only a giant in her own profession, but a beloved figure, and my heart goes out to all those who cared for her and cared about her," Biden said in a statement after traveling to Delaware from Minnesota, where he had been campaigning in a suburb of Duluth.

  • "And she practiced the highest American ideals as a justice — equality and justice under the law. Ruth Bader Ginsburg stood for the law.
  • "As a young attorney, she persisted, overcoming a lot of obstacles for a woman practicing law in those days ... she continued until she moved herself into a position where she could end up changing the law of the land."
  • "It's hard to believe that it was my honor to preside over her confirmation hearing ... She never failed, she was fierce and unflinching in her pursuit of civil and legal right and civil rights of everyone."
  • "Tonight and in the coming days we should focus on the loss of the justice and her enduring legacy.
  • "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.
  • "I think the fastest justice ever confirmed was 47 days, and the average is closer to 70 days, and so we should do this with full consideration, and that is my hope and expectation of what will happen."

Why it matters: Republican sources tell Axios that President Trump plans to move within days to nominate his third justice, adding that the Republican base will revolt on Election Day if he does not.

  • "[T]here is no doubt, let me be clear, the voters should pick the president, and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said.

Go deeper

Dec 18, 2020 - Technology

How team Biden could tackle tech's civil rights failings

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration should evaluate new technologies like artificial intelligence and facial recognition through "a civil rights lens," argues a new paper shared exclusively with Axios. One of its authors is a volunteer on the Biden-Harris transition team.

The big picture: The paper from The Day One Project, a group of mostly former government staffers, advocates Biden establish a task force within the White House Office of Science Technology Policy to push federal agencies to share information about issues like facial recognition and targeted advertising.

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.