RIP RBG: A Future Without Justice Ginsburg

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Supreme Court of the United States

September 18, 2020 marked yet another devastating day in the endless tragedy that is 2020 with the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG). At 87 years old, she died in her home in Washington, D.C. due to “complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer,” according to the Supreme Court. Nominated by Bill Clinton, RBG served for 27 years as the second female to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court. 

Justice Ginsburg was a feminist icon, pioneering equality from the high court and becoming the symbol for dissent against injustice. As a lawyer, she won multiple landmark cases against gender equality in front of the Supreme Court before being appointed to the US Court of Appeals, where she served for 13 years before joining the Supreme Court. One of Justice Ginsburg’s most notable cases was United States v. Virginia in which she ruled against the Virginia Military Institute denying admission to women. She was a strong and outspoken women’s rights advocate that led systematic change. Her death raises many concerns about the future of the justice system in an unsure and polarized political climate. 

With the upcoming presidential election, the country is holding its breath in anticipation. As everything hangs in the balance, the tension has only increased with the passing of Justice Ginsburg. Knowing the importance of her passing, Ginsburg’s dying wish was that she would “not be replaced until a new president is installed.” Despite her wishes, Senator Mitch McConnell is pushing to find her replacement as soon as possible. According to Russell Berman of The Atlantic, despite denying former President Obama’s nomination in his final term, McConnell insists on filling the vacancy because “the same party controls both the White House and the Senate majority.” With President Trump’s nominee Amy Coney Barrett, the Supreme Court will become 6-3 conservative. 

With a right-leaning Supreme Court, it is likely the country will see a turn of laws to a more conservative side, including abortion. Pro-choicers are expecting more of a fight on their hands in the future to maintain reproductive rights. Along with abortion, America is expecting changes in policies such as Affirmative Action and the Affordable Care Act, which Justice Ginsburg had supported in her career. 

The phrase “uncertain times” has been used abundantly this year; however, the future of this country truly is up in the air, and the death of Justice Ginsburg made it even more unpredictable. Due to this, it is important to register to vote and make sure the opportunity to have a say for the future is not wasted.