What Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Means for The Supreme Court

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©WFU/Ken Bennett

Julie Gil, Staff Writer

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing on September 18th has left many worried about her position in the Supreme Court of the United States. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a pioneer for women’s rights and a feminist icon. She served on the high court for 27 years. Her last wish was to wait until after the election for someone to take over her seat. In her words, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” according to NPR. It appears that this wish will not be upheld. 

On Saturday, September 26th, President Trump announced his pick for the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett attended Rhodes College for her Bachelor’s degree and then went on to study law at Notre Dame Law School. After that, she did two years of clerkships and worked at a private practice for three. Then, she taught at George Washington School of Law and Notre Dame Law School. Finally, she was appointed by Donald Trump in 2017 to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. 

A senate Republican aide has come out anonymously and said that the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin confirmation hearings on October 12th. They are said to run the same as before, taking four days for opening statements, questions, and outside testimonies. This process typically takes 50 to 100 days. 

Many question whether or not it is fair for Trump to select the replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court during an election year. A very similar situation happened when Obama’s term was close to ending. When Justice Antonin Scalia passed during an election year, it was decided that they would wait to replace him until the next term. Barrett spoke on this in 2016 saying, “We’re talking about Justice Scalia, the staunchest conservative on the court, and we’re talking about him being replaced by someone who could dramatically flip the balance of power on the court. It’s not a lateral move.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg was considered a huge pioneer for women’s reproductive rights, while Barrett Has shown her clear opposition to abortion. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says these situations differ in that both the house and senate are republican, which was not the case during the end of Obama’s second term. Ultimately, it will be up to the Senate to decide.