The passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, affectionately referred to as RBG, on Sept. 18, has sent shockwaves throughout the nation. The United States has been divided by Republican and Democratic parties, the latter wanting to keep her Supreme Court Justice seat open until the election. Not doing so opens up a new world of corruption and metaphorical dynasties in politics, as Republicans can choose a young person to continue serving their side for a long time, as it is a lifetime seat. Choosing to keep her seat open till the next president is elected should be an easy decision, yet those in power don’t think so. It is morally gross, and replacing her a month before the election shouldn’t even be an option.
First, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s final wish was that she wouldn’t be replaced until after the election. This is an issue of morality. A woman who has done so much for our country didn’t even get to die in peace without thinking of the aftermath. Today, women are able to play high school sports, rent an apartment, open a bank account without a man, and more. All of this only exists thanks to her legal battles as a young lawyer in the 1970’s. Ginsburg was a champion of LGBTQ+ rights, religious freedom, fighting racial issues and most notably feminism. The fact that Republicans are using her death to leverage their agenda is horrible, especially considering their past remarks in a situation similar to this.
In addition to this, Republican leaders have been called out for their hypocrisy, most notably Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In 2016, he had advised President Obama to hold off on nominating a new judge after the passing of Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) Justice Antonin Scalia, specifically saying that the American people deserved to have a say on who the justice was based on which president they elected, and that they should seize the opportunity to weigh in on whom they trust to nominate the next person to serve on the Supreme Court for life. “It is today the American people, rather than a lame-duck president whose priorities and policies they just rejected in the most-recent national election, who should be afforded the opportunity to replace Justice Scalia,” McConnell said. This quote should be enough by itself, except there’s more! Scalia passed away 11 months before Obama’s official term ended in January. Conversely, RBG passed away just a little over one month before the election. The contrast between timelines is jarring, especially when it’s considered that Scalia was a Republican. If Scalia wasn’t replaced almost a year before the election, there’s absolutely no reason why RBG should be. The Republican party wants to use her death to flip the Supreme Court to a 6 to 3 conservative majority.
Similarly, Senator Lindsey Graham is under fire for going back on his word. “I want you to use my words against me,” he said in 2016 after Justice Scalia’s death. “If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and the vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it may be, make that decision.” He has now gone back on that and referred to all of the angry Americans that are calling him out as a “mob”. Graham switching sides accomplishes absolutely nothing other than giving less credibility to the side that he is supporting. The only reason for him supporting the replacement of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is to give his political party an advantage in the Supreme Court.
If the partisanship of leaders wasn’t enough, look at the outpouring anger from the left. The Sunrise Movement, a nonprofit organization of young adults focused on establishing the Green New Deal, organized a peaceful protest outside of McConnell’s house. Likewise, over 1 million Americans signed a viral petition (sign.moveon.org) to not replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s SCOTUS seat less than a day after it was posted. There has already been an outcry from Democrats and leftists and they will continue to passionately resist the filling of RGB’s seat.
A system where the passing of one person causes chaos throughout the country clearly isn’t a good one. As of right now, nothing can be changed to fix this except listening to the last wishes of a beloved trailblazer and playing by the rules that were ALREADY set four years ago. The citizens of the United States deserve to be listened to, and Republicans should not abuse the power they have by nominating a new justice until the people have been given a voice through voting.