BREAKING: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Passes Away at 87
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice for twenty-seven years, passed away today from complications with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Ginsburg was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and has since been known as a liberal and progressive Justice, voting on behalf of abortion rights, immigration, voting rights, same-sex marriage, and other divisive issues. Ginsburg was the second woman ever to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, of only four in the court's history.
Ginsburg was also known for her work before stepping up the nation's highest court, mostly on providing equal rights to women and disbanding gender-based discrimination as a volunteer for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). While volunteering for the ACLU, Ginsburg co-founded the Women's Rights Project, which participated in 300 cases regarding gender-based discrimination. Ginsburg was essential to most of the current day provisions guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment: All citizens of the United States have equal protection under the law, arguing in front of the Supreme Court six times between 1973 and 1976.
She was also the first woman to write for two different law reviews, The Harvard Law Review and the Columbia Law Review. She founded the Women's Rights Reporter, the first law journal in the United States to focus solely on women's rights. She was also inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2002, among many other accomplishments. These accomplishments led to many describing Ginsburg as a larger-than-life character, despite her diminutive stature, donning the moniker "The Notorious R.B.G." and becoming as well known in pop culture as she was in the legal field.
Ginsburg's legacy is one that left an enormous impact on the United States. Nevertheless, her death leads to an enormous question: who will succeed her?
Ginsburg's sudden death has left a Supreme Court seat open. For months, liberals and progressives have worried over Ginsburg's health due to her several bouts of cancer, fearing that President Trump would seize this opportunity to place another conservative judge on the court. As he did with the absence that Anton Scalia left, nominating right-leaning Judge Brent Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh was confirmed in 2018 despite allegations of rape and sexual assault levied against him amid the #MeToo movement. With Trump guaranteed another three months in office, the possibility of him filling Ginsburg's empty seat is more than likely--either to show his strength as a president despite the hardships of the pandemic and an impending election or to extend his legacy if he loses to Biden.
With a Democratic-majority in the House and a Republican-majority in the Senate, the House Democrats can block a possible new appointment. However, with an election around the corner, there is room for them to appeal to more moderate voters--depending on whom President Trump nominates. This empty seat also gives Senate Republicans and the president three months to solidify a conservative court--currently holding three liberal judges and five conservative judges. The confirmation of a sixth right-leaning judge would leave the Supreme Court conservative leaning for decades to come.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has already come out with a statement that Ginsburg's vacancy should not be filled until January until whoever wins the election gets inaugurated. Three different Republican senators have pledged to not consider another candidate until after the next inauguration. Despite these statements, it is reasonable to believe that President Trump will not attempt to lose out on this opportunity, most likely to announce his nomination within the coming weeks, if not days. President Trump's possible nomination is currently unknown, but one thing is--they will be a conservative judge.