Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies; Trump Nominates Amy Coney Barrett to Fill Seat

Image courtesy of Time

By Chris Carey

For many in Washington, D.C., Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Friday, September 18 signaled the start of a process that is all too familiar. About 24 hours after her death, President Donald Trump announced his intention to fill her seat, the third vacancy that Trump has presented a judge to occupy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who in 2016 blocked President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat, stands by Trump and vows that his nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, will receive a hearing and a vote.

“We must preserve our precious heritage as a nation of laws, and there is no one better to do that than Amy Coney Barrett,” Trump said.

Barrett’s judicial record is largely conservative, and she herself claims she is a traditionalist, stating, “A judge must apply the law as written.” 

This is a sharp contrast to the career that RBG boasted of.

As she herself said, “When I was appointed, the vote was 96-3 – and I was known as a ‘flaming feminist.’” Ginsburg’s storied time in public life has paved the way for hundreds, thousands of young women in all industries to excel and pursue their dreams. From her time as a law student at Harvard and Columbia up to her dying days, Ginsburg served as a trailblazer for women and marginalized people across the country.

This Tuesday, September 29, President Trump and Vice President Biden met in the first of the presidential debates. Predictably, the Supreme Court was at the top of the docket as the two clashed. Vice President Biden offered the appeal of the Democratic Party that the Senate hold off on its confirmation of Judge Barrett, just as the Senate held off on Obama’s nomination in 2016, saying “The issue is that the American people should speak. Vote and let your senators know how strongly you feel.”

The President took the same approach he has in recent weeks in the face of criticisms of the proximity to the November 3 election, claiming, “we won the election, elections have consequences. We have the Senate and we have the White House.” 

As far as his nominee herself, Amy Coney Barrett is widely regarded as one of the most competent and intelligent federal judges on the bench. In her nomination to the Federal Bench in 2017, every law clerk that served alongside her at the Supreme Court, including RBG’s own, came out in full support of her confirmation. Every professor at Notre Dame Law School, Coney Barrett’s Alma Mater, voiced their support for her confirmation as well, including Catholic University’s President, John Garvey, who has said “Amy Coney is the best student I ever had.”

Needless to say, as the country gears up for the long month until election day, one October surprise came early with the passing of an American legend, the nominee of a new justice, and the appeal to the public these two candidates will make. 

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