It is no secret that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a personal hero of mine. Upon watching the move On the Basis of Sex, I was hooked on her story. I watched every documentary I could find, read her book, and followed her decisions on the Supreme Court. I was absolutely heartbroken at the news of her death in 2020. She was so much more than a seat on the bench, but unfortunately her death catalyzed a wave of anti-abortion legislation that is consistently challenging the standing of Roe v. Wade. Former President Trump was permitted to hastily appoint Justice Amy Coney Barrett to RBG’s seat and the irony of this replacement was almost too much to handle. Justice Barrett is a practicing Catholic and has ruled conservatively in the past. Her placement puts the conservative majority at 6-3 as compared to the more even 5-4.
The idea of conservative versus liberal judges is a new one, and a product of the changing political sphere. This divide stems from two competing interpretations of the Constitutions: the Originalists and living constitutionalists. Originalists view the meaning of the Constitution as fixed in its original interpretation, while living constitutionalists believe it should evolve and “live” in the period it is still being followed. Conservatives tend to be originalists while liberals tend to be on the living side.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing yet another very real challenge to Roe v. Wade and unfortunately it isn’t looking great for women’s rights. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the Mississippi case that bans abortions after 15 weeks. Mississippi is just one of multiple conservative states attempting to pass abortion restrictions. Lawmakers expect to be rejected by the lower courts and they hope to eventually make it to the Supreme Court. There they are aware that originalists hold the majority and they are attempting to seize on this “opportunity.”
Quite frankly it is exhausting. Cases such as this Mississippi one threaten a right that so many women rely on and creates an unjust reality. The idea that a woman’s ability to choose can once again be ripped away simply because of the makeup of the bench at a certain point in time. Women have for too long been under the control and influence of others with false rhetorics being spread regarding their autonomy. A woman’s body is no one’s business but her own and to put it simply if you do not want an abortion, don’t have one, but it is selfish to take this choice from others.