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The Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and what it means for Americans

BY: Elizabeth Buerkle

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed away after 27 years of service in the court at age 87. Her death brings great sorrow to people across the United States as people mourn not only the passing of a wonderful woman, but an equal rights legend, being remembered as the “Notorious RBG” with a vigil at the supreme court in her honor the night she died. She allowed for the passing of laws allowing women to sign a mortgage and open a bank account without a male co-signer, be pregnant and have kids and work, not be discriminated for a job based on their gender, supported gay marriage, and abortion rights. Now that her seat lies vacant, many are feeling a sense of dread that the rights she worked to protect are at risk. In the words of John F. Kennedy Jr.: “Say goodbye to Roe V. Wade.”

With only 43 days until the elections on November 3rd, people are debating as to whether her seat should be filled before or after the new president is inducted. According to her granddaughter, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”, however Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel has issued a statement that they will hold hearings on Trump’s appointee in the days leading up to the election. This has raised criticisms across the country as back in 2016 McConnel refused to hold a vote on Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland with upwards of 9 months until the election. The average time spent to appoint a Supreme Court Judge is about 70 days, the fastest appointment occurring in just 33 days. The same argument he made in 2016, “The American people should have a say in their next Supreme Court Justice”, is being used against him. The response to the controversy has been that in 2016 the party leadership was different, but now that the Senate is lead by Republicans, they have the votes to pass a judge; there is some speculation that Trump waiting to fill the seat could motivate voters to go to the polls and re-elect him in order for him to fill the seat. Trump has recently stated that he doesn’t believe her dying wish being spread around did not in fact come from her, but was written by democrats to prevent him from appointing a new judge. Amy Coney Barret, a conservative judge infamous for implementing her Catholic faith into her court rulings, is said to be Trump’s front runner for the seat. If she is approved, it would leave the court in a 6-3 conservative majority. 

The decision of whether she is replaced by election day is up to a few chance swing votes from Republican senate members, and it is surrounded by a storm of controversy as people criticize Mitch McConnel for hypocrisy after 2016, but then turn to RBG’s own call in 2016 for the Senate to “do their job” to appoint Obama’s nominee. Regardless of the political climate, the ultimate decision will leave an impact that will remain for decades.


*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not necessarily reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.


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