Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Iconic Progressive Justice of the US Supreme Court, Dies

Clay Curtis
September 22, 2020

"Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature", Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement.

In the last midterm election before Justice Scalia's death in 2016, Americans elected a Republican Senate majority because we pledged to check and balance the last days of a lame-duck president's second term. Note that the day that Justice Scalia died, that is when Mitch McConnell made the announcement that it would be appropriate for the voters to decide in the election, which was many, many months away.

Rep. Juan Vargas, another Democrat, said: "Tonight, we mourn an incredible force and pray for our country". The "Thurmond rule" posits that a federal justice, such as a Supreme Court justice, should not be decided in the run-up to an election. Most polls show President Donald Trump trailing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the general election, and a number of Republican senators in swing states are also trailing their Democratic opponents, meaning that Democrats believe that waiting until after the election will substantially increase the chances that a justice more to their liking will end up taking Ginsburg's place on the Supreme Court. "President Trump's nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate".

Ginsburg was the second woman ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

But Mr. McConnell says that was different. Supreme Court appointments require Senate confirmation, and Trump's fellow Republicans control the chamber.

Ms Ginsburg was the oldest sitting justice on the US Supreme Court.

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But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Friday night said Ginsburg's vacancy should not be filled until "we have a new president". The closely divided court now had five justices with conservative bents and four liberals.

The big question is thus: Can a Supreme Court justice be replaced during an election year-like the one we're in?

She continued, "I think it mattered to my Republican friend and colleague Lisa Murkowski, and she has already put out a message that to fill this vacancy now and not wait until 2021 would be a double standard". In February, the court announced that cancer had spread to her liver, and in July it was announced that she was undergoing chemotherapy due to recurrence. Architect of the legal fight for women's rights in the 1970s, Ginsburg subsequently served 27 years on the nation's highest court, becoming its most prominent member.

She has had multiple types of cancer in the past two decades and hospitalized several times for treatment.

Appointed by President Bill Clinton and joined the court in 1993, she was treated four times for cancer.

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