I cried actual tears when I heard about the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I then proceeded to cry two more times this week. As someone who doesn’t get emotional over the death of famous people, this one was really hard for me to sit with. I am tearing up just thinking about her and how sad I am to see her go. I also think my tears were based in fear. I am fearful for my future and scared for what will happen if Trump manages to replace RBG’s Supreme Court Justice seat in the next 39 days.
If my News and Reporting professor saw this right now he would lose his mind, because i’ m doing the exact opposite of everything he tells us to do. I am taking a political stance while reporting on a government issue and telling you my personal opinion. I think for this class and the purpose of this post it’ll be worth it. I want to share with you why I am so fearful of Trump and his power, why I am so sad about the passing of the legendary RBG, and what we can do to get that orange idiot out of office (too harsh? don’t read on if you think that).
Let’s start with the facts. Ruth Bater Ginsburg was the second woman appointed to the supreme court. In 1993, Bill Clinton appointed her and the senate confirmed it with a 96 to 3 vote. Many democrats worried that Clinton was choosing a woman who was not liberal enough, as she had close relations with conservative colleges and was soft-spoken. Wow, were they wrong! Over the next 27 years, Ginsburg came to be known as the liberal, feminist icon we know her as today.
It’s so inspiring to see how she was able to make connections with people who have different political political beliefs, and I wish our government was less polarized. That being said, I have no respect for Trump supporters. I think it’s important to listen to each other’s opinions, as long as they don’t infringe on our personal rights, and I think that’s something RBG did well. She gained respect from so many, and whether or not you agreed with it, it was hard to respect her work ethic and ability to talk to others. I think our government would be so much more successful if we had people like Ginsburg who fought for what they believed in and did so in a respectful manner.
On September 18th, 2020 she passed away. She was quoted saying “my most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” according to NPR. Trump of course did not listen and started his process towards filling his third supreme court seat. This is extremely disrespectful to Ginsburg and her legacy. I’m sorry Ruth, I’m sorry that we as a country cannot honor your legacy better. I’m disappointed and disgusted in the way Trump has handled this, but sadly I am not surprised by his behavior anymore.
Trump got to fill Antonin Scalia’s seat with Neil Gorsuch. Scalia passed away in February of 2016. It was ruled that Obama would not be able to fill his seat, and we would let the people pick what they wanted. We waited until the 2016 election, and Trump was able to fill the seat. This set a precedent that the president could not fill a supreme court seat close to the election. Remember this, it’s important.
Brett Kavanaugh replaced Anthrony Kennedy in 2018. This was a very sad day for many women, as Kevanaigh was accused of sexual assault by multiple women. That’s right… the senate still approved his nomination. Our own president, a man accused of sexual assault, is putting men into power how abuse women. Having men at the top who do not respect women is not promising for our futures. By nominating a man who is accused of assault and placing him in a high position of power, our government gave off the message that we do not care about women as much as we do about men.
We are now living in a moment where the Supreme Court is conservative, with 5 justices being conservative and 4 being liberal. Our last hope was RBG, she was keeping the balance and fighting for us women. She died in September, only two months before the 2020 election.
My first thought was “wow there is so much more riding on this election now that we are filling a Justice seat as well,” assuming the precedent set in 2016 would hold. The people would have the power to pick the president they want, and that president would listen to the people’s wishes and fill the seat. I am already super anxious about this election, and would give anything to insure a win for Biden and Harris. Having a supreme court seat nomination simply raises the stakes.
If we have learned anything about Trump it’s that he doesn’t follow the rules, and he’s ignorant, and racist, and sexist… okay we’ve learned alot about Trump. So we know he is ruthless and has no regard for rules or the precedent.
Trump is trying to fill RBG’s seat with a conservative voice. This would be a major loss for liberals. They would have power to potentially overturn Roe v. Wade. They have the potential to take away our rights, the rights we have been spending decades working to get. A 6 to 3 vote is very powerful and many voices would be silenced. As a straight white woman I am worried, and I can’t imagine the fear people who are more oppressed feel. I am scared for the Black community, for the LGBTQ+ community, and for feminists. I’m scared for immigrants, anyone who isn’t Christian, and anyone who chooses to express themselves. Im scared for sex workers, and for the homeless. I’m scared for anyone who isn’t a straight white male. I’m scared that women will lose the rights we have been working so hard for.
I would also like to add that if Trump or anyone who supports him is reading this, I have a message for you… “if you are so confident that you will win this election, just wait until November 4th. It’ll show you have some respect (I know that’s difficult for you, maybe fake it) and you will still get your person in the court.” That’s all I have to say.
Additionally, I want to add that RBG was Jewish. I saw a tik tok about what to say when a Jewish Person passes, and then asked my Jewish grandmother. My Grandmother told me to say “may her memory be for a blessing,” so please consider saying this instead of “rest in peace” as it’s what her family and her religion honor.
So what can you do? You can write letters to your congressmen and congresswomen asking them to wait to fill the seat. You can protest. And most importantly, you can VOTE.
Feminists, remember this Legend. Ruth, you will be missed so much. I am so sorry that we couldn’t do a better job protecting your seat, but I promise we will protect your memory. You will forever live on as a feminist icon. So many people are so thankful for you, and I am one of them. You showed women that they can work, they can be powerful, and that their voice matters. You showed me that my voice matters. Thank you for being an inspiration and may your memory be for a blessing.
Image on Canva graphic :
Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, https://www.oyez.org/justices/ruth_bader_ginsburg. Image is freely licensed and available to the public domain.