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At the time of a person’s death, people generally take time to grieve and process their emotions, but this isn’t the case with the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg — former justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Ginsburg unfortunately passed away Sept. 18 due to complications with pancreatic cancer at the age of 87.
Ginsburg was the second woman to be appointed as a Supreme Court judge in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. During her life, she was a strong advocate for gender equality, working with the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Women’s Rights Project. She became an icon and inspiration to many women around the world, being known as “Notorious RBG” and having books and movies published about her.
The grieving process has barely started, but the Trump administration has begun to push for the replacement of her seat.
Her last wish, according to her granddaughter, was that she “will not be replaced until a new President is installed.” She wanted her seat to be filled after the election in November.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated, hours after Ginsburg’s death, whoever President Donald Trump nominates will have a Senate vote on the floor. This means there would be a formal session leading to a vote on which Supreme Court nominee gets to fill Ginsburg’s seat. This comes as a shock because, in March of 2016, McConnell opposed a vote to fill a Supreme Court seat saying he wanted the American people to have a voice in who fills the empty vote. McConnell opposed a vote to fill the Supreme Court seat four years ago because he didn’t want to fill a seat during an election year.
McConnell’s comments are a complete 180-degree turn only because a Republican is in the White House. McConnell opposed filling the seat back in 2016 until after the election then, but now a Republican is in office with the election six weeks away, and he’s more than willing to hold a vote on a vacant opening in the Supreme Court.
McConnell shouldn’t go back on his words just because the president aligns with his party affiliation now. He should stick with the precedent he set and have that be the “end all be all” of how the Senate should approach a seat opening during an election year.
Trump joked at his Minnesota campaign rally Sept. 18, before finding out about Ginsburg’s death, that he would nominate Texas Senator Ted Cruz if he was given the chance. He claimed Cruz was the only person he could nominate to replace Ginsburg that the Senate would fully support.
It appears that the hope of keeping Ginsburg’s legacy alive is gone, but maybe that’s not the case. Two Republican senators — Senator Susan Collins from Maine and Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska — have publicly stated they’ll oppose a vote before the 2020 election. In order to avoid a vote before Election Day, five Republican senate members will need to oppose it.
As a country, we cannot let this extraordinary woman’s legacy be forgotten or replaced. You may be wondering, what can we do? In order to push other Republican senators to oppose a vote before election day, contact them. Find the phone numbers to their office, find the emails you can use to contact the Republican senators in your state. Use your voice and make your voice heard.
Ginsburg spent her life fighting for what she envisioned America can be. She is now at rest, but it’s our turn to fight for this vision. We need to get our voices to be heard, and to push for what we want. We need to fight for her legacy to remain intact as she fought for everyone her entire life. Fight for her legacy by pushing for the Senate to push voting until after the election, because, as Ginsburg once said, “real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”