As I was sitting down for dinner the other night, I found out about the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. While I was not shocked by her passing, I was saddened by the idea of her no longer being here. If you know me, Justice Ginsburg, who fondly was known as RBG, was my idol. I was obsessed with her; I read every article and biography about her, read all of her opinions, watched every documentary on her life, and even have a pack of mints I got for my birthday with her face on them sitting next to my bed. She is everything I have always wanted to be and more. I could only strive to achieve a fraction of her success and hope to be only a morsel as influential and incredible as she was.
My fondness for RBG started when I was going into my senior year of high school. I participated in a young women’s political leadership summit in Washington, D.C. for a week. Through the program, I met countless women leaders across the political spectrum and became inspired to be like them one day. That summer I also interned for a congressional campaign and realized that working directly in politics would not be my future career, but I wanted to work in advocacy. I was always passionate about women’s rights, so I decided that I was going to learn more about the history of feminism and fell absolutely in love with Justice Ginsburg.
I have grappled with the idea of what to do post-college, but about a year ago, I decided that I wanted to follow in Justice Ginsburg’s footsteps and attend law school. Her life’s work is what allows me to have the life I have today. Without her, the amount of discrimination that I could face purely because of my sex is impalpable, and I want to make that same impact one day. She has done so much for us, and now it’s time for us to do something for her.
In her final moments, Justice Ginsburg told her granddaughter, “my most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” Unfortunately, Mitch McConnell and members of Congress are not only ignoring that wish, but they are completely disregarding precedent as well.
In 2016, after the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, President Obama announced that he would be nominating Merrick Garland to fill Justice Scalia’s seat. Mitch McConnell and other members of the Senate stated that the seat could not be filled in an election year and that it should be the responsibility of the new president to fill the vacancy. Senator McConnell made that statement nine months before the 2016 presidential election. Now, seven weeks before the 2020 election, Senator McConnell is reversing his stance. He stated that he is going to push forward whomever President Trump decides to nominate to the vacancy. Not only is this a violation of precedent, which is a core principle that this country is founded upon, but it is just plain hypocrisy. In reality, McConnell is simply salivating over the idea of a 6-3 conservative majority in the nation’s highest court.
Even more troubling than the lack of consistency in Congress is the fact that the highest court in the land is becoming political. The Supreme Court is supposed to uphold the laws set forth by our Founding Fathers based on their interpretation of the constitution, not based on political leanings that would appease a sitting president. Approving a new nominee before the election would be a political tactic, instead of a move that is in the best interest of the American people.
Unfortunately, one of the three liberal justices of the court, Stephen Breyer, is in his 80’s. Another term of a Trump Administration could easily mean a 7-2 conservative majority in the Supreme Court, further politicizing the court. Justice Ginsburg’s entire life’s work could be completely demolished by such a biased court. We must uphold her legacy and ensure that our voices are heard on November 3rd. Register to vote with the link below. RBG’s legacy and our lives depend on it.