A court without Ginsburg

By Devyn Shea (TheLorian)

Last week Ruther Bader Ginsburg lost her years long fight to stay alive. For many Americans there is a cloud of confusion to what will happen to the Supreme Court without her. So as we continue to mourn Ruther Bader Ginsburg’s death, we should go over what’s going to happen to her Supreme Court seat, now that it is vacant.

After Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that the Senate would hold a vote on any person President Trump nominates. Many called this move a hypocritical one. Back in 2016, he had prevented a hearing on Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland on the basis that it was an election year and that they should wait for the next president to decide. That was eight months before the election. It is a little over one month until the election and he wants to hold a vote on President Trump’s nominee. Some GOP ads in return have called Democrats hypocrites in a move that is seemingly trying to turn the tables. It is important to note that in 2016, Republicans had 54 Senate seats. If there were a hearing on President Obama’s nominee, his nominee surely or most likely would not have been vote on by the Senate. It is safe to assume Senator McConnell realized this, but didn’t give the most reasonable reason for preventing the hearing.

After Ginsburg’s death, roughly six Republican Senators were labeled as potential voters against President Trump’s nominee. Quickly, however, three stated they would support the President’s nominee. Another two stated that they would most likely not vote for President Trump’s nominee. This gave the Republicans a likely win, because this made the potential vote a 50-50, which would most likely end with Mike Pence breaking the tie as that’s the Vice President’s duty when there is a tie in the Senate. Mitt Romney, however, put away any question of a tie in the Senate. Senator Romney stated that he thought the Senate should move on based on precedent, history, and the US Constitution. He also said he would vote on the President’s nominee solely on their qualifications.

Who is President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court? That person is Amy Coney Barrett. He appointed her to the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit back in November of 2017. If she were to take Ginsburg’s spot on the court, she would be the youngest person on the court. Right now, she is 48 years old. In the past 20 to 30 years, the Supreme Court has been center left, meaning that it was a more moderate court, but liberal justices had a slight advantage either in actual numbers of justices or when it came to court decisions. Historically, this was also the case from the late 1930s to the late 1960s, but with a more liberal emphasis. From the 1970s to the 1980s, however, the Supreme Court became more conservative.

With the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, the Supreme Court will most likely be the most conservative in the past 40 or so years. Barrett has recently criticized Chief Justice Roberts on his vote on the legality of the Affordable Care Act back in 2012. In the past few years she has voted in two major cases related to abortion rights. The first was “Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky Inc.” This case had to do with a law in Indiana that prevented abortion based on race, ethnicity, gender, or the disability of the fetus. This law was considered an anti-abortion law and she dissented in this case as well as another case referring to an anti-abortion law. Her past experience and votes lead many people to speculate that things such as Roe v. Wade and the Affordable Care Act are just momentary fragments of what will soon to be history.

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