A Light Passes

September 20, 2020

by Steve Stofka

Have we had enough yet? Almost 200,000 Americans have died from Covid, millions of Americans are out of jobs, hundreds of thousands of small family businesses have closed, millions of families are about to lose their homes, thousands of acres in western lands on fire, thousands more left homeless by Hurricane Sally and now Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died. The nation wishes her two children and four grandchildren their condolences for her passing. At least half of the nation grieves for the political battle that is to come.

The day before Justice Ginsburg died, the National Constitution Center awarded her the 2020 Liberty Medal. Jeffrey Rosen, the host, spoke with two lawyers who have argued cases before the court and clerked for RBG. https://constitutioncenter.org/debate/podcasts

She was a pioneer in legal justice for human beings, regardless of the roles that society assigned them based on their sex. She helped to steer the Supreme Court to prejudicial practices against women by first encouraging her male colleagues to review practices that put men at a disadvantage.

She often wrote the opinion for the liberal justices on the court but had the respect of one of the court’s most conservative justices, the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Her reasoning was sound; her principles were consistent; her loyalty to fair treatment under the law steered her through many an argument to a clear conclusion.

I have no doubt that the conservative Federalist Society already has a waiting list of Supreme Court replacements for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump to consider. Will they delay this appointment in the hopes that it will bring out more Republican voters? If Trump loses the election, McConnell can bring the appointment of a new Justice before the Senate in December or January. If Republicans lose the majority in the Senate, he will have to make the appointment in December because the new Senators take their seats on January 3rd, 2021.

As I write this on Friday night, McConnell has just announced that he will seek a quick nomination. The gloves are off. It’s about to get bloody. In further updates, Republican Senators Susan Collins and Mitt Romney have said that they don’t think a nomination is appropriate just before an election. Whether McConnell has enough votes to proceed with the nomination, some Republican Senators may want the vote anyway to show their allegiance to Trump just before the election.

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Photo by Juskteez Vu on Unsplash

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