On Friday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, leaving many Americans devastated and fearing for the future of their country.
In addition to being valued in our community simply because of her trail-blazing bravery, Ginsburg also had a personal connection to our school. Her son, James Ginsburg ’83, and her great-nephew, Jeff Elias ’19, both graduated from GDS. Justice Ginsburg was scheduled to deliver GDS’ annual Ben Cooper speech this year, according to Head of School Russell Shaw.
Ginsburg was appointed to the Court by Bill Clinton in 1993 and served as the second female justice until the day she died.
For Democrats, this death couldn’t have come at a worse time. Mitch McConnell, avid conservative and Senate Majority Leader, made his opinion clear on Friday night: Whomever President Trump nominates as a potential justice will be voted on by the Senate.
However, McConnell’s opponents point out that he had pushed back on appointing a new justice to replace the vacant seat of Antonin Scalia towards the end of the Obama administration, illustrating the hypocrisy of the situation.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden issued his own statement shortly after McConnell’s. He addressed eager reporters awaiting the arrival of his flight in a New Castle airport, confirming that he believes that the next elected president should be the one to appoint the new justice.
“The voters should pick a President,” Biden tweeted, “and that President should select a successor to Justice Ginsburg.”
Starting in 2011, many Democrats urged Justice Ginsburg to retire to ensure that the new justice who replaced her would be nominated by a Democratic president.
“I think that I should do this job as long as I can do it,” Ginsburg said in response to retirement rumors. And that she did.
The desire for RBG to retire came from the Democrats’ fear that exactly what has happened would happen—that Justice Ginsburg would pass away under a Republican administration, allowing that president to appoint the new Supreme Court justice.
If Trump successfully appoints a Republican justice, it could take Democrats years to recover from a 6-3 minority.
The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has left many in a state of despair. Minorities who depended on her reliable liberal vote are now left in uncertainty.
Women fear for their rights. Immigrants fear for their protection. Democrats fear for their sanity. America fears for its future.
Anna Shesol ’24