Christian Lohrenz ® Columnist |
After battling with several different cancers over her life, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away this week. While to many her passing has caused panic and urgency, it is important to remember and honor this incredible pioneering woman.
The second-ever woman to sit on the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg led a life filled with advocacy and incredible perseverance. In the 70s she led the charge for the legal fight to push for women’s rights. At the beginning of her career, women were often barred from jobs and left out of decision making.
One of her landmark rulings came in a 7-1 decision declaring the Virginia Military Institute could no longer remain an male-only institution. Upon her confirmation to the Supreme Court, she vocalized her support for reproductive rights, including the right for women to have abortions.
Numerous other landmark opinions were written with her typical spice and “tough as nails” approach, which later led to her being deemed the “Notorious RBG.”
Several on the court, despite political differences, have expressed their sadness over the loss.
“Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature,” Chief Justice Roberts had to say. “Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her – a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”
While it is important to acknowledge her achievements and mourn her loss, there is no passing on the monumental position the Supreme Court is now in with the loss of Justice Ginsburg. Already holding a slightly conservative leaning, the court now holds a vacant position, as was the case near the end of the Obama administration after the death of Antonin Scalia.
While the administration at the time had nominated a replacement in Merrick Garland, the senate opted to delay the vote until there was a new president, thus “Allowing the people a voice in the Supreme Court.”
A momentous debate occurred around the idea of whether or not Merrick was to be allowed a confirmation hearing or not. Ultimately, Garland never got a hearing. Eventually, after Donald Trump took office, he brought forth a new nominee in Neil Gorsuch, a more conservative option. Now the same debate is being discussed: should the current administration be allowed to nominate and push a new judge in just weeks before the election, or should the country do as it did in 2016 and wait for the newly elected president to nominate another judge?
We’ll see what happens in the coming days and weeks.
As for Justice Ginsburg, her wishes on the subject came in her final moments as she dictated this statement to her granddaughter: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
Header photo: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks at the Georgetown University Law Center campus in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, file)