The majority leader of the US Senate has vowed to push ahead with President Trump's nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, potentially scuppering the feminist pioneer's dying wish.
The 87-year-old legal powerhouse revealed her final wish to her granddaughter Clara Spera just days before she lost her battle with cancer on Friday, telling her she did not want to be replaced "until a new president had been installed".
"My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed," Bader Ginsburg told her granddaughter, according to NPR.
The next US president will be inaugurated in January and one prominent Republican is already indicating they won't wait until then to install Bader Ginsburg's replacement.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell paid tribute to Bader Ginsburg in a statement but also vowed: "President Trump's nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United State Senate".
However, Republican senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have previously said they would not approve a new justice this close to the election. A vote would be unsuccessful if two more Republicans decide to vote against the nominee.
US President Donald Trump has not made his views known about a replacement, only tweeting a statement that Bader Ginsburg was a "titan of the law", who had a brilliant mind and had lived a remarkable life.
No Democrats are expected to vote for a conservative judge.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said: "The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice."
"Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president," he tweeted.
McConnell denied a Senate vote to Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, after Justice Antonin Scalia died before the 2016 presidential election.
In his statement on Bader Ginsberg's death, McConnell said: "In the last midterm election before Justice Scalia's death in 2016, Americans elected a Republican Senate majority because we pledged to check and balance the last days of a lame-duck president's second term. We kept our promise.
"Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president's Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year.
"By contrast, Americans re-elected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the judiciary. Once again, we will keep our promise."
Obama weighed in, saying Bader Ginsburg "fought to the end, through her cancer, with unwavering faith in our democracy and its ideals".
"That's how we remember her. But she also left instructions for how she wanted her legacy to be honoured," he tweeted, providing a link to a full statement.
"Four and a half years ago, when Republicans refused to hold a hearing or an up-or-down vote on Merrick Garland, they invented the principle that the Senate shouldn't fill an open seat on the Supreme Court before a new president was sworn in," his statement read.
"A basic principle of the law – and of everyday fairness – is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what's convenient or advantageous in the moment."
Trump announced he would fly flags at the White House, all public buildings, grounds and military bases throughout the country until sunset on the day of her funeral.
Bader Ginsberg's death was announced by the Supreme Court, which said the cause was complications from pancreatic cancer.
"Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died this evening surrounded by her family at her home in Washington, DC, due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer," spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.
Architect of the legal fight for women's rights in the 1970s, Bader Ginsburg subsequently served 27 years on the nation's highest court, becoming its most prominent member.
She was only the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice John Roberts said the US had lost a "jurist of historic stature".
"We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague," he said in a statement.
"Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her – a tireless and resolute champion of justice."
Bader Ginsburg battled cancer for more than a decade.
She had surgery to remove a lung cancer in late 2018.