Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Died: What does this mean for the Supreme Court?

Updated: Oct 7, 2020


Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the second female to ever serve on the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).


However, in her time as the only female judge, she described it as some of the "worst times" in a 2014 interview by The New Republic. It was hard being the only woman.


Nevertheless, her accomplishments ranged from progressive votes on issues such as abortion rights, same-sex marriage, equal voting rights, immigration, health care, and affirmative action. She was a hero to many.


But her most memorable quality was her love for her job as a judge.


In 2013, because Ruth Ginsburg had fought cancer twice already and was the oldest on the SCOTUS, former President Obama suggested that she resign so he could appoint a new liberal judge. However, Ruth Ginsburg refused to step down -- she was too dedicated.


But now, Democrats are kicking themselves. Ruth Ginsburg's empty seat on the SCOTUS is not just a seat anymore, it's a crevice into which the Trump administration has the authority to inject another conservative judge, and despite their utter hypocrisy, they are following through with it.


Amy Coney Barrett, an attorney and professor at the University of Notre Dame, is President Trump's top pick.


While Democrats are aware the Amy Barrett will most certainly be appointed to the SCOTUS, they are more interested in denouncing a crystal-clear hypocrisy in which Republicans know they are drenched in.


This hypocrisy sprouted on February 13, 2016, when Justice Antonin Scalia died. He passed nine months prior to the presidential election. But before former President Obama could nominate another judge, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (Republican) announced, “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.” Mitch McConnell had the majority of the Republican Senate with him.


Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, for example, echoed the same rhetoric: "I want you to use my words against me. If there's a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let's let the next president, whoever it might be, make the nomination."


Well, here we are four years later, and the same thing is happening. However, Senator Graham has diverged from his statement in 2016. In an interview with Fox News in 2020, he told them, "We've got the votes to confirm Justice Ginsburg's replacement before the election. We're going to report the nomination to the floor of the United States Senate so we can vote before the election."


That is beautiful hypocrisy. Lindsey Graham blatantly contradicted himself.


But the odor of conservative hypocrisy does not stop with Lindsey Graham and Mitch Mitch McConnell. Cory Gardner, Thom Tillis, Dan Sullivan, Steve Daines, and many more Republican Senators back in 2016 reiterated the decision to wait to replace Antonin Scalia until the new president had been elected, but contradict themselves now in their support to confirm Amy Barrett into the SCOTUS before a new president is elected.


Unfortunately, in 2016 when the Senate was (and still is) run by Republicans, Antonin Scalia's vacant seat on the SCOTUS was not replaced until Obama's successor, President Trump, had been elected.


As for the current fate of the SCOTUS, constitutional experts say that there is nothing that can be done to delay the nomination until the next president in elected. Amy Coney Barrett will almost certainly be appointed to the SCOTUS, and Republicans will never admit to their hypocrisy.


Welcome to America!




Work Cited

  1. https://www.wcax.com/2020/09/21/constitutional-law-professor-weighs-in-on-future-of-scotus/

  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/21/magazine/ginsburg-successor-obama.html

  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/18/us/ruth-bader-ginsburg-dead.html

  4. https://www.theguardian.com/news/audio/2020/sep/23/how-the-death-of-ruth-bader-ginsburg-could-change-america-podcast

  5. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ruth-Bader-Ginsburg

  6. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/18/politics/ruth-bader-ginsburg-dead/index.html

  7. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/23/fact-check-ruth-bader-ginsburg-could-have-retired-under-barack-obama/3495683001/

  8. https://billmoyers.com/story/republicans-fill-justice-ginsburgs-seat-with-hypocrisy/