A country is in mourning with the news of the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The legendary justice passed away on Friday at her home in Washington, DC, surrounded by her family. She was 87 years old. The official cause of death is complications related to metastatic pancreas cancer. A private interment ceremony is scheduled at Arlington National Cemetery.
Throughout her life, Ginsburg had gone to battle against cancer five times. The most recent recurrence happened earlier this year when it was revealed that she had lesions on her liver. Despite her insistence that the chemotherapy was going well, Ginsburg was not able to keep up the fight against the cancer that continued to invade her body.
The Legacy of Ginsburg: Ginsburg started her reign on the Supreme Court in 1993 as an appointee of President Bill Clinton. In recent years, she was distinguished as the senior ranking member of the court’s left wing. Ginsburg is known for being consistent in her rulings on some of the most controversial issues of modern times. Her legacy will go down as being a staunch advocate for women’s rights, voting rights, abortion rights, same-sex marriage, affirmative action, and healthcare.
Despite her small stature, Ginsburg was known for her vocal views, particularly in the strength of her dissenting opinions. Her 1996 Supreme Court opinion on the matter of the United States v. Virginia held that the male-only admissions policy at the Virginia Military Institute was unconstitutional because it discriminated against female applicants.
Prior to her work on the Supreme Court, Ginsburg carved out a reputation as a fierce supporter for the American Civil Liberties Union. She was also instrumental in ensuring equal protection to everyone regardless of gender. Her work to secure women’s rights is likely to be her most remembered contribution to the landscape of the nation.
Political Ramifications of Ginsburg’s Death: While many are in mourning over the passing of Ginsburg, the political ramifications of her death cannot be put on hold. With a vacancy on the court, President Donald Trump now has the opportunity to appoint another conservative justice, solidifying the political right’s hold on the Supreme Court.
This appointment will not be without serious controversy. Within a few hours of the passing of Ginsburg, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he would move forward with the appointment of a new justice as soon as possible. This announcement signaled a serious fight within Congress as the election looms in the near future.
While there will undoubtedly be pressure to rush an appointment prior to the November 3 election, the pushback on the Democratic side will also be intense. In addition, McConnell must also consider the needs of Republican senators up for re-election in swing states who do not want a public political battle on their hands.
Democrats will surely use the death of Ginsburg to rally the base to get out and vote in order to preserve her lasting legacy.