Justice Ruth Bater Ginsburg, a legal, cultural, and feminist icon died on September 18th of cancer. She had served on the Supreme Court for 27 years and was known for championing Women’s Rights in the ’70s. Sadly, her contributions will not be discussed as much as her replacement and what her death means for the future of the Supreme Court. A political battle is about to ensue with Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell already confirming that the Senate will vote on Trump’s nominee before the election. Democrats have made it clear that they do not want the seat filled until after the election, not unlike what the Republicans did in 2016 with Obama’s Supreme court pick, Merrick Garland.
Lili Loofbourow, a staff writer for Slate, calls this, “register the lies they tell you as the calculated insults to your intelligence and to your citizenship and to your country,” because in many ways Republicans are hellbent on getting their political objectives through no matter how much it will cost the country.
The question is whether or not Trump and Senate Republicans can push through with a replacement for Ruth Bater Ginsburg when the election is less than two months away. “Given McConnell’s singular obsession with the courts (and especially the Supreme Court), he can be expected to use every tool at his disposal to close this deal, even if the Republicans lose control of the Senate on November 3rd,” said Jeffery Tobbin, a contributor for the New Yorker.
The leading candidate so far is Amy Coney Barrett, who was interviewed by Trump before Kavanaugh was nominated.
There are now serious talks of increasing the number of justices, expanding statehood to Puerto Rico and Washington D.C, 18-year term limits for Supreme Court justices, increasing the number of lower-court federal judges, and getting rid of the filibuster. Democrats may consider some of these options as retribution against Republicans if Joe Biden wins the election and especially if they win back the senate. The future of the Supreme Court and by extension, American Democracy hangs in the balance.
By Alpha Bah