Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Supreme Court justice, has died at age 87, creating both political and social turmoil.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to ever serve on the Supreme Court, died on September 18, 2020 at 87 years old. The court said her death was due to metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or RBG as she was widely called, was a feminist icon, championing women’s rights throughout her life. Her presence on the court was a big one, seeing how she consistently voted more progressive on issues such as abortion rights, immigration, same-sex marriage, and more.
Since President Bill Clinton appointed her in 1993, RBG worked through cancer and her fragile appearance with defiance. She said in an interview at a time when she was the only female justice in 2014, “The image to the public entering the courtroom was eight men, of a certain size, and then this little woman sitting to the side. That was not a good image for the public to see.”
Despite that, she was soon named Notorious RBG, displaying her peaceful yet powerful character.
39 days before the election, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s unfortunate death sparks a political argument about the Supreme Court. Republicans want to fill up the now empty seat before the election begins while Democrats think that it would only be fair to do that once the election is over and a possible new president is instated.
Senator Mitch McConnell proclaimed, on the evening of RBG’s death itself, “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States.” This statement comes after McConnell blocked President Obama’s attempts to nominate a Supreme Court justice during an election year.
Many democrats argue that, like Obama recently stated, “A basic principle of law— and of everyday fairness— is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment.” Another common argument is that because the election is arguably already underway (with states setting up for primaries), pushing a nominee for the court would be rushed and unjust.
Adding to all of that, Ruth also told her granddaughter that her last wish was that her replacement be appointed by the next president. Would her last wish be honored?
The vacancy would allow President Trump to appoint his third justice, which would solidify the court’s conservative majority. If he fills the court seat before the election, it is more likely certain types of laws that he wants to pass will be approved.
Whatever happens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg will live on in the memory of many as a champion of public rights.