Replacing RBG

Natasha Watts

A big topic of mainstream news lately has been the passing of associate justice of the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, more familiarly referred to as RBG. Ginsburg passed on September 18th, 2020, asking in the days before her death not to be replaced until after the 2020 presidential election. Though many of her supporters have tried to put up a fight, it seems as though this is not going to happen. President Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett to take the open seat. 

Many people feel as though this is going to incite a big change in our Supreme Court, as Barrett and Ginsburg’s views are on near opposite ends of the political spectrum. Where Barrett has a firmly conservative view, Ginsburg was significantly more liberal. The New York Times wrote that pro-life groups have very openly supported Barrett’s nomination, and that Trump has admitted to wanting to elect justices who will overrule the decisions made in Roe V. Wade (1973) which established the constitutional right to receive an abortion. Barrett has stated that she does not actively plan to overturn this ruling, but there is the concern amongst pro-choice individuals that future cases will start to chip away at abortion laws and court rulings currently set in place.

Some of Barrett’s ideologies include that “judges are not policy-makers” but should simply apply laws as they are written, that people who were convicted of non-violent felonies should be legally allowed to possess firearms, and that (speaking on the death penalty) “[she] would recuse [herself] and not actually enter the order of execution.” 

The Washington Post said, “Also on the Barrett chopping block could be the right of same-sex couples to marry; the existence of affirmative action programs at colleges and universities; the constitutional protections against discrimination based on gender that Ginsburg made the center of her career; and environmental protections and other regulatory efforts enacted as part of the congressional power to oversee interstate commerce.” On the other hand, Fox News wrote that Barrett “represents everything that made this a great country.” They also comment on, in multiple articles, how the left-wing has been “attacking” Barrett. Specifically, they mention that Planned Parenthood has spoken out against Barrett and her ideals about abortion, as they worry Barrett will move to close their abortion clinics. 

It is important to remember that though Barrett is Trump’s nominee, she has not yet been confirmed. The situation is still developing and Barrett is not currently the new Supreme Court Justice. If Barrett is appointed Justice, the conservative-liberal vote ratio will become 6-3, not counting the occasional swing vote from some of the Justices.