LGBTQ hero Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

An image of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Ruth Bader Ginsburg is projected onto the New York State Civil Supreme Court building in Manhattan, New York City, U.S. after she passed away September 18, 2020. Andrew Kelly | Reuters

 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the senior liberal voice on the U.S. Supreme Court, died Friday night from metastatic pancreatic cancer. The 87-year-old Ginsburg was appointed as the second female justice on the Supreme Court’s bench by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She consistently delivered progressive votes on the most divisive social issues, including LGBTQ rights–among them same-sex marriage–as well as abortion rights, health care, voting rights, immigration, and affirmative action.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday night that flags over the US Capitol building are flying at half staff in honor of the late justice.
In her statement, the speaker said: “We must honor Justice Ginsburg’s trailblazing career and safeguard her powerful legacy by ensuring that the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court upholds her commitment to equality, opportunity and justice for all. “
Ginsburg’s death has set up a dramatic and potentially violent clash within the country revolving around when a replacement for Ginsburg on the court should take place. With ten months left in the Obama administration in 2016, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell refused to consider Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, after the death of Supreme Court Justice Anthony.

At the time, McConnell said, “The American people are perfectly capable of having their say on this issue, so let’s give them a voice. Let’s let the American people decide. The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the nominee the next president nominates, whoever that might be,” McConnell said.

Donald Trump had already rushed to Tweet the day following Ginsburg death, “We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!”

The Democrats have resolved to keep that from happening, and given the likelihood of a sweep of both the White House and the Senate in the national election set to take place in barely more than a month, the party has enormous confidence in its ability to limit the Senate’s ability to confirm a new Justice before the election.

Tom Kaine (D-VA), a lawmaker with a reputation as an institutionalist, told CNN that confirming a nominee of President Donald Trump this year could compel Democrats to consider adding seats to the high court.

“If they show that they’re unwilling to respect precedent, rules and history, then they can’t feign surprise when others talk about using a statutory option that we have that’s fully constitutional in our availability,” he said. “I don’t want to do that. But if they act in such a way, they may push it to an inevitability. So they need to be careful about that.”

LGBTQLoyalty.com named Ruth Bader Ginsburg an HERO in Advancing Equality earlier this year. To read her life story and views from the bench, click here.

Richard Hack is an award-winning author and journalist. He Is LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings' Vice President of Content and Executive Editor of lgbtqloyalty.com.

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