Supreme Court Justice Leader Ruth Bager Ginsburg died at 87 years old, Friday, Sep.18. Nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993, she served 27 years in the Supreme Court and was the second woman appointed to the Court in its 212-year history. Throughout her legal and judicial careers, she advocated for equality for people of all genders and sexual orientations.
Affectionately known by the masses on social media as the “Notorious RBG,” the fierce and passionate firebrand was known to have butted heads with President Trump on occasion. “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” she’s quoted as saying. Despite her years of service and work for minorities, President Trump is actively denying her request and is currently looking for a replacement.
Depending on who he elects, President Trump’s decision will impact every citizen in the US as the justice will shape Supreme Court decisions and the law of the land for decades to come. He has promised to nominate a woman, but who he’s leaning towards is uncertain. The Washington Post released names of five possible contenders: Amy Coney Barrett, Barbara Lagoa, Britt Grant, Joan Larsen and Allison Eid. He plans on announcing the decision on Friday, 25th, or Saturday, 26th, after RBG’s memorial service in the Brooklyn Municipal Building.
Mitch Mcconnell (R-KY), Senate Majority Leader, made bold statements on multiple occasions in 2016, seeming to criticize former President Barack Obama’s decision to nominate Supreme Court Justice Merrick Garland to the court in the wake of former Justice Antonin Scalia’s death a full year before Obama’s term ended. “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” McConnell said. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” Now, McConnell is advocating for the expedient filling of the vacancy before the 2020 election, drawing criticism from Democrats and even some Republicans like Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). If McConnell is able to push President Trump’s nomination through the Senate before the election, the Supreme Court would have a 6-3 conservative-appointee majority. This places decisions like Roe v. Wade, protecting a woman’s right to abortion, and the Affordable Care Act, protecting Obamacare, in danger of being overturned. Given that the Senate has a Republican majority and the confirmation process takes around 2.5 months, it is very likely that a conservative justice will be appointed.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death has certainly left a huge void both on the Supreme Court and in American society. She will forever be remembered as a champion of equality, and her lasting legacy will continue to inspire people to be independent and achieve whatever they set their hearts and minds to. What the vacancy left by her death means for the future of the country is uncertain, but it almost certainly means a Republican majority on the Court for decades to come, against RBG’s dying wishes.