The Legacy and Aftermath of Ruth Bader Ginsberg


Large scale photos and quotes from RBG kept up in the “Notorious RBG” exhibit, now being used to honor her memory. (Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune)

Bella Rock, Social Media Editor

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who tragically passed September 18, will forever be remembered in both history books and our hearts. Ginsberg led an incredible life as an advocate for women’s rights and legal trailblazer.

As an attorney, Justice Ginsberg won multiple cases at the Supreme Court, even convincing the all-male bench to apply the 14th Amendment to also include sex-based discrimination in its equal protection clause. Ginsberg eventually became the second ever female Supreme Court justice. 

Justice Ginsberg’s passing strikes both controversy and fear across the nation. With Trump and Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, both being more conservative leaning, many fear for who they will choose to replace Justice Ginsberg. With this comes the debate of who should nominate and select the next Supreme Court justice. 

The left has stuck by the argument that the winner of the 2020 election should pick the next justice, many in hopes that Biden will win. Along with the fact that this was Justice Ginsberg’s dying wish. On the other side of the political spectrum, those who are more right-leaning argue the current president, Trump, should select the next justice.

Trump selecting the next justice would mean that all three branches of government would be Republican, making it easier for legislation to go through. This strikes fear amongst many liberal leaning citizens of America that Trump and McConnell could and would easily undo much of the progress towards equality that Justice Ginsberg made. 

The current selection Trump has made for the next justice to join the Supreme Court is Judge Amy Coney Barrett. As expected, she has much more conservative leaning viewpoints as opposed to Justice Ginsberg.

If Judge Barrett is selected before Election Day, she would be a part of two very large decisions being discussed today. The first being the Supreme Court hearing of the challenge and attempt to get rid of The Affordable Care Act. Additionally, there is also the case of foster care and adoption. The Supreme Court is planned to rule on the issue of some government programs attempting to stop same sex couples from adopting on the basis of religious beliefs. 

It is incredibly likely that Justice Ginsberg would have voted to maintain the current health care law, upholding the Affordable Care Act, as well as prohibit the discrimination against LGBTQ+ couples trying to start families. However, many assume that Judge Barrett would likely vote in the opposite direction. 

This leaves many marginalized groups across the country fearing for the safety and longevity of their rights. In this turning point for America, many face the horrifying reality that, if Trump is able to place Judge Barrett on the bench, their civil liberties may be diminished.