The iconic Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, otherwise popularly known as RBG passed on last evening and you can almost touch the sense of loss felt across the nation.
This is because RBG was not only the iconic justice she was and an inspiration for many, especially women across the world, she was one of four justices in the Supreme Court appointed by Democrats or “liberal” justices as they are commonly referred to.
Her passing means one of the most hated, if not the most hated president in US history will have a chance to appoint a third justice therefore having his stench remain with us for a long time. Never mind that Trump and Republicans will try and shove down our throats a conservative justice when voting has started for 2020 general elections.
When I first saw the news of RBG’s passing, I felt both sad for the loss of this wonderful human being and sick at the prospect of having the man whose secretary of state never denied calling a moron having yet again another opportunity to appoint another justice of the Supreme Court.
So much so such that I woke up and couldn’t sleep anymore thinking about this so I decided to do the only thing I can do under these circumstances and that is just to write and share my thoughts about this.
I have several thoughts that have been in my mind since I had the sad news and these are jumbled in my mind and I have privately shared some of them with family and friends but let me try and organize them here.
To begin with, I hope the greatness of this wonderful woman will not be overshadowed by the elephant in the room and that is, her vacancy. I hope the media, including those of us who blog will take time at least the next few days before she is buried to focus and highlight her accomplishments.
To this end, let me just quote verbatim what former President Barrack Obama said about RBG and this sums up very well what everyone is saying about her:
Sixty years ago, Ruth Bader Ginsburg applied to be a Supreme Court clerk. She’d studied at two of our finest law schools and had ringing recommendations. But because she was a woman, she was rejected. Ten years later, she sent her first brief to the Supreme Court — which led it to strike down a state law based on gender discrimination for the first time.
And then, for nearly three decades, as the second woman ever to sit on the highest court in the land, she was a warrior for gender equality — someone who believed that equal justice under law only had meaning if it applied to every single American.
Over a long career on both sides of the bench — as a relentless litigator and an incisive jurist — Justice Ginsburg helped us see that discrimination on the basis of sex isn’t about an abstract ideal of equality; that it doesn’t only harm women; that it has real consequences for all of us. It’s about who we are — and who we can be.
Justice Ginsburg inspired the generations who followed her, from the tiniest trick-or-treaters to law students burning the midnight oil to the most powerful leaders in the land.
Michelle and I admired her greatly, we are profoundly thankful for the legacy she left this country, and we offer our gratitude and our condolences to her children and grandchildren tonight.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought to the end, through her cancer, with unwavering faith in our democracy and its ideals. That is how we remember her. But she also left instructions for how she wanted her legacy to be honored.
I fully concur and echo these sentiments and may RBG rest in peace.
On the political end, there is no denying RBG’s passing and who replaces her will have great impact and determination on which direction the court takes. Again, Obama summed it up very well and let me quote him again, he said,
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.
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. The rule of law, the legitimacy of our courts, the fundamental workings of our democracy all depend on that basic principle.
As votes are already being cast in this election, Republican Senators are now called to apply that standard. The questions before the Court now and in the coming years — with decisions that will determine whether or not our economy is fair, our society is just, women are treated equally, our planet survives, and our democracy endures — are too consequential to future generations for courts to be filled through anything less than an unimpeachable process.
The former president is right on.
Republicans in the senate led by Mitch McConnel will commit an unforgivable political blunder if they ram down our throats anyone Trump nominates—even if the justice is a known liberal. This is simply because the principle Republicans themselves enunciated is you cannot have a president appointing a justice to the supreme court during an election year.
We are not even talking about nominating someone during an election year in this case but nominating and ramming through the senate someone when elections are already underway, and people are voting!
Were McConnel to be reckless and tone-deaf enough to do this, then this is what I foresee happening, or is what Democrats must do as a response.
First, use the thuggery as a rallying cry to mobilize even more voters to take out vulnerable Republican senators and take over control of the Senate while increasing their majority in the House. It of course goes without saying the same efforts should and must produce a landslide victory for Biden and Harris at the polls.
Second, if Republicans ram through Trump’s nominee at this time when elections are underway instead of waiting for voters to have a say who appoints RBG’s successor, they will only do so by invoking the so-called nuclear option, meaning, doing away with the filibuster rule in the senate requiring 60 votes for important votes like this.
Third, doing away with the filibuster rule that protects the interests of a party out of power may enable Trump and Republicans to do what is convenient for them now, but they will leave to regret it because with Biden as president with both houses under Democratic control—and this must be the outcome if a nominee is rammed down our throats—Biden and Democrats will be able to, and they must quickly ram through far-reaching and impactful legislation to put in check with the Supreme Court can do.
For example, Biden and Democrats can increase the number of seats in the Supreme Court from 9 to 12. This alone will negate all appointments made by Trump and even though there was not much appetite to do this previously, it will be imperative that this happens, if this is how dirty Republicans want to play with power.
All that points to Republicans not being foolish enough to do this and this not even about Trump but the Republican’s own remaining relevant after November.
Say what you can about Americans and leaving aside the Trumpians for whom neither logic nor facts apply, a vast majority of Americans and I would even venture to say upward of 70% are thoughtful and favor fairness and justice for all.
If Republicans who denied Obama a simple up or down vote for his nominee to the Supreme Court Merrick Garland on grounds it was an election year and now flip their position to say Trump can appoint his nominee not just during an election year, but when voting has already started, they will pay dearly at the polls as this will anger and drive many voters to the polls who would otherwise not bothered to vote.
There; that is my analysis, so I am not concerned whichever way it goes. If McConnell knows this will be the scenario and doesn’t bring up the vote, then he might stand a chance the Senate remains Republican majority though barely; he forces the vote, the Senate flips to Democrats by as many as 5 seats majority.
I have read a statement Senator Mitch McConnel has issued saying he will allow a vote on Trump’s nominee notwithstanding his blocking Obama from appointing one under even less dire circumstances. To put it mildly, the statement and reasons given is as moronic as you would expect a tone-deaf Trump sycophant to do.
He must pay the political price for it and that means let’s use the only power we have against him and all other Republicans in the Senate and that is to vote overwhelmingly for Biden and give him a landslide and help those challenging Republican senators, including McConnel in any way we can, including contributing money to their respective campaigns.
God help us.