Since the passing of sitting Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg at the age of 87, this year has shown to be like no other. More than ever, the division in this country is both visible and clear with the issues of race, a historic presidential election, and an ongoing global pandemic causing tension across the nation. And now, the confirmation of a controversial judge to the supreme court is now creating even more strife in these difficult times. The day that Justice Ginsberg passed, her granddaughter released a statement where RBG expressed that her “…most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” With the news of her death, the Senate majority Republicans have in essence dismissed RBG’s dying wish and confirmed Amy Coney Barret in less than a month. Here’s why this is a problem.
Back in 2016 when Justice Antonin Scalia passed, there was a vacancy eight months before the election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. On the same day of Scalia’s passing, Senate Republicans stated that they would not begin the process for a judge that was nominated by President Obama. The reason for their denial was that the next president should be able to nominate a judge because it was an election year. President Obama intended to do his duty and chose Merrick Garland, a well-respected lawyer who had more experience with federal judicial experience than any other supreme court nominee. In the end, his nomination was dismissed and expired, leading to the nomination and confirmation of conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch.
During this controversy in 2016, many senators were interviewed on their opinion, with the majority of Republicans stating that it would be unfair and unjust to confirm a new justice during the election year. Senator Graham (R) from South Carolina even said “I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination”. Four years later and all but one Republican Senator voted for the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett. This shows the complete and utter hypocrisy that is being seen and proven by the Republican party.
Lack of Equality
With the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, the Supreme Court now stands as having a 6-3 balance of power between differing beliefs on how law should be conducted. With this new addition to the highest court in the country, most of the population’s mindset is not accurately reflected by the majority of the judges in the supreme court.
What Does This Mean
This senate confirmation has now affected and changed the way laws are interpreted for many years to come. Barret now has a huge impact on this county’s policies including abortion rights, the ACA, LGBTQ rights, and the environment. From the senate hearings, her opinion on many controversial human rights issues was not heard but it is noted that she will be siding with her conservative ideals. She is in favor of traditional values and is quite religious which has led many to believe that she will not reflect the beliefs of many Americans who are now scared that their basic human rights will be taken away from them.
This has only shown that this election will be one of the most important in our lifetime. If there is anything that you will take away from this article, I hope that it has proven the importance of voting. Vote for those that aren’t able to vote, for the child in cages, for those living paycheck to paycheck, and for those that don’t feel like they’re being represented.