THE LEGACY OF RUTH BADER GINSBERG

On Monday, Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice by the Senate. In a 52-48 outcome, all Democrats voted against her confirmation but all Republicans, except for Senator Susan Collins, voted in support of her. 

Barrett is now the third successfully appointed Supreme Court Justice nominated by President Trump. Trump now has the most Supreme Court Justices successfully appointed in one term since former President Richard Nixon, including Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh’s 2018 nomination sparked nationwide controversy, as three women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations just as his judicial court hearings began.

Barrett’s nomination has also been the subject of controversy these past few weeks. During her Capitol Hill hearing, she was unable to list the five freedoms when asked by Republican senator Ben Sasse. As a circuit judge under the United States Court of Appeals, Barrett has been openly against abortion and the Affordable Care Act.

Barrett’s confirmation comes just over a month after the death of former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Before her death, the 87 year old had dedicated a statement to Clara Spera, her granddaughter, in which she expressed her most fervent wish.

“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” wrote Ginsberg, days before she passed. 

Unlike Barrett, Ginsberg had continually expressed her disapproval in Donald Trump’s presidency. A New York Times interview between reporter Adam Liptak and Ginsberg, the former Supreme Court Justice said, “I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president … For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”

Ginsberg (middle) discussing her experience as a female in law 1982. Credit: HLS Historical & Special Collections

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Ginsberg was recognized as a symbol of feminism, due to becoming one of nine female students attending Harvard in 1956, then the second female Supreme Court Justice in 1993. She spent most of her work advocating for women and the LGBTQ+ community, giving minorities the voices they never had. 

Whatever the outcome of the 2020 election, Ruth Bader Ginsberg ensured that generations to come would always remember her lasting legacy.

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