Impactful death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg could affect election

by Chloe Jordan | staff writer

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was laid to rest last week and remembered as a woman who was a pioneer in the realm of gender equality.

“She was only the second female to be on the court,” AP Government teacher Patricia Castellanos said. “What she’s really known for is working towards equal rights for women.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg took her oath on Aug. 10, 1993 and has served as a justice until Sep. 18, 2020. 

“[She] set the precedence for the 14th Amendment to be used to not allow discrimination on the basis of sex,” Castellanos said.

And as the country took time to remember her legacy, it was hard to not realize how complicated her death could make things before election day.

“The Constitution basically spells out that if there’s a vacancy on the court, the president nominates a replacement with advice and consent of the Senate,” Castellanos said.

President Trump has recently nominated conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

“It’s likely that the Senate will be confirmed because the Republicans hold a majority,” Castellanos said.

A couple of women were considered to replace Ginsburg. The Senate will begin hearings to confirm the justice shortly.

“The legacy is significant, because justices serve for life,” Castellanos said. “They can be impeached but that has never happened.”

A new justice will mean a swing in the ratio of justices.

“When Justice Ginsburg served on the court, the leanings in terms of political philosophy was 5-4. There were four liberal justices, four conservative justices, and the chief justice would sometimes vote either way,” Castellanos said. “What this will do is create a 6-3 conservative court.” 

If the election is placed in the hands of the Supreme Court, the new justice could play a role in it. 

“I think some of the concern is that if Trump nominates somebody, that person kind of has a conflict of interest, in the sense that if they’re deciding on the election, do they owe something for that?” Castellanos said. 

Ginsburg’s lasting impact on our nation is felt as the election begins to move closer.

“She has a pretty amazing legacy,” Castellanos said. “I think a lot of women today take for granted a lot of the rights we have and we owe a lot of those to her and the groundbreaking work she did.”


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