Yesterday’s passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Supreme Court Justice, trailblazing jurist, and women’s rights leader — has left a dark cloud hanging over the country. Millions around the country, and around the world, are mourning.
For LGBTQ people especially, this loss hits home, as Ginsburg was in support of LGBTQ rights in every major Court ruling over the past 25 years. She has even presided over a number of same-sex marriages, some prior to the 2015 decision that granted marriage equality across the country.
Staring at this wedding ring.
Thinking of what SCOTUS means to our lives. Our families. Our marriages. Our rights.
I need you to vote.
We all need you to vote.
— Chasten Buttigieg (@Chasten) September 18, 2020
When a giant passes away there are so many reasons to grieve. RBG held on for so long, and I know it wasn’t just for her family – she held on for the world. Rest in Power.
It’s on all of us to save this place. This country and this world. Let’s fight y’all. And let’s win.
— fund the us postal service – defund the police (@OsopePatrisse) September 19, 2020
RIP Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It is an immense loss. And the fate of the country should not rest on one woman’s shoulders however giant they were. I’m so sorry for her family and friends.
— roxane gay (@rgay) September 18, 2020
One video circulating the web showcases part of Ginsburg’s testimony to the Senate during her 1993 confirmation hearings. “Indeed, in my lifetime, I expect to see three, four, perhaps even more women on the High Court Bench,” she testified. After being confirmed, she saw two other women joined the court – in comparison to five men.
In the video, she further speaks about how important her “partner”, Martin, was to her career. He preceded Ruth in death by 10 years.
“What has become of me could happen only in America,” she also said later in her testimony.
Many expressed fear over the eventual replacement of the Associate Justice, which could take place before the 2020 election’s outcome. Ginsburg, who served on the Supreme Court since 1993, consistently sided with liberal opinions during her tenure.
Now, thanks to a rule implemented in 2013, it would only take a 51-vote majority to confirm a justice, as opposed to the previous 60. A vacancy opened on the Court this close to a Presidential election has never been filled prior to the Election Day.
Since Republicans have an at least 53 members until the new legislative term begins on January 3, 2021, a nominee by President Donald Trump could almost certainly receive approval. That would effectively turn the Court into a conservative supermajority of 6 out of 9 justices, meaning all 3 branches will be controlled by the right (unless, of course, Trump is voted out before such an event).
We lost an incredible fighter today. So heartbroken. Rise in power, RBG. You fought so hard for us. We gon fight for you too. #2020 pic.twitter.com/NwHgtBKs1F
— Alicia Garza (@aliciagarza) September 19, 2020
This is devastating, an incalculable loss. We owe so much to RBG. Rest in Power Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #RIPRBG
— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) September 19, 2020
In My Shock,Anger,Devastation
I Didn’t Think To Give My Condolences To Her Family.
May I Take This Moment To Give My Heartfelt Sympathy To The Family Of a GIANT.
SHE WAS A HERO TO ME.😥😥
— Cher (@cher) September 19, 2020
Trump had already released a short list of candidates for a seat on the Court earlier this month. It included Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Howley (R-MO) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, and U.S. Circuit Court Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan.
While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already announced that a new SCOTUS nominee “will receive a vote on the floor”, some Republican Senators have previously vowed not to vote before Election Day.
Even Trump chose to focus on Ginsburg’s legacy, responding to news of her passing – which he claims took him by surprise, when asked following a campaign rally – by saying that the Justice was “an amazing woman — whether you agreed [with her] or not…who led an amazing life.”
“I am sad to hear that,” Trump concluded. Later, he issued a statement further mourning her and ordered for the lowering of the White House flag.
The crowd outside of the Supreme Court to honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg is getting huge pic.twitter.com/yQyqJuML58
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 19, 2020
Let me be clear: The voters should pick a President, and that President should select a successor to Justice Ginsburg.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 19, 2020
Statement from the President on the Passing of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pic.twitter.com/N2YkGVWLoF
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2020
The flag is at half-staff here at the White House in honor of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a trailblazer for women. pic.twitter.com/AFiMSoKfXI
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) September 19, 2020
Still, the President is expected to announce a nominee “in the coming days”, sources reported to ABC News.
Ginsburg’s “most fervent” dying wish was that “I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” reports indicate she told her granddaughter in recent days.
Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish was that her seat would not be filled until a new president is installed! Senate Democrats, do not back down. You have a tough fight ahead but our future is on the line! No SCOTUS appointment before the election!!!
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) September 19, 2020
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a titan of justice. Her jurisprudence expanded the rights of all Americans, shaping our lives for the better. And her example now shines within the history of our country, there to inspire generations. pic.twitter.com/GffcMQivDx
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) September 18, 2020