Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies At 87

Last night, many of us were discussing the terrible loss of one of the greatest icons in American law: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In the coming days, there will be much debated about the timing and the merits of any replacement on the Court. However, the trauma of this moment for millions is the fact that we know that there really is no replacement for this inspirational and brilliant jurist.  My column on Ginsburg was posted this morning in The Hill newspaper.

For my students (liberal and conservative alike), there are few better models in life than Ginsburg whose strength and quiet resolve helped shape the law and the country for decades.  On a Court where many justices evolved and found a voice, Ginsburg came to the Court with a powerful and clear voice. While selected as a presumed moderate, she was unabashedly liberal in her interpretation of the Constitution and remarkably consistent in her votes.  She was the rock on the left of the Court to which countless opinions were tethered.

Ginsburg was one of the smartest justices to ever sit on the Court.  From the minute she walked into law school, her intellectual skills were overwhelming.  She tied for first in her class at Columbia and had the distinction of serving on both the Harvard Law Review and Columbia Law Review. She was the gold standard for a nominee to the Supreme Court.

I had the honor of speaking with Ginsburg on many occasions over the years from conferences to private dinners.  She always displayed that same wry and penetrating humor.  She could deliver a haymaker in a whisper.  Some disagreed with her jurisprudence but we should all be able to celebrate her brilliance and her life. She faced open discrimination as a woman in our profession despite her stellar credentials.  She refused to be deterred or discouraged by such ignorance.  She stood her ground and, when she did, this diminutive figure with her signature lace gloves became a giant in the law.  She was a force to be reckoned with and she left a country changed as a result of that unbending resolve.

Rest in peace, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

480 thoughts on “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies At 87”

  1. John Adams stood constrnated, who shall I nominate, I shall nominate you. The person Adams referenced was John Marshall. Lame duck Congress, Lame duck president.
    The Founders set the precedent……………..

  2. A life well-lived. Rest in peace RBG.


    ‘A day before she died, Ginsburg was honored by the National Constitution Center with its Liberty Medal. The center’s president, Jeffrey Rosen, said in the opening to the video ceremony that Ginsburg was “watching at home.” The nearly hour-long video included some of Ginsburg’s favorite opera singers and celebrity friends who addressed her directly. Ginsburg sent a note the center made public.

    ‘It closed by sending “bravissimos” to the “participants in this event, and all in attendance for lifting my spirits sky high.”’

  3. Turley:. Call Trump and advise him to nominate Hillary to the Supreme Court. It will win him the election. Swing states will his way. Then, in the next term when there is another Supreme Court position open, we can promote you. And the all white Trump jury will agree.

  4. Furious Democrats consider total war if McConnell jams through Supreme Court pick – Axios

    We picked up 2 ammo boxes yesterday at an Army-Navy surplus store. My barber, who likely has as many guns as Mespo, offers weekly to take me shooting on Wednesdays at his favorite gun range along with his wife. She’s quite a gal, a real pistol. Some of these Virginians are dead serious about their American Revolutionary War roots.

    1. southpaw: “This would not be, in fact, “total war.” If it happens, it would be using the express provisions of the constitution to try to create a more perfect republic. It would be the slow train coming in. It would be reform.”

      Mark Joseph Stern: “Granting congressional representation to the roughly 700,000 American citizens who live in DC (including me) is not “total war.” It is a vindication of the most basic principles of democracy.”

    2. “Furious Democrats consider total war if McConnell jams through Supreme Court pick ”

      Furious Democrats will use total war no matter what Republicans or anyone else does. Just look at the cities to know how far these maggots are willing to go.

      1. True story. In the last year we have befriended a lesbian couple, 2 Southerners with one who repaired our Whirlpool appliance. The latter told us they are coming to our place “when it all goes down”. I stated that if they do, I most likely will throw them at the BLM ANTIFA anarchists and watch the snowflakes drop to the ground into a fetal position and cry, since no BLM Antifa lightweight has the gravitas to face an angry butch dyke. It will also save me on using my ammo. Their response? they laughed their white butts off.

  5. To BUY the Book, your last post, And your point Is? The Senate stands as advice and consent only it matter not what any Senator says if the Executive s nominates they must choose by voting.

  6. “The passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could shake the foundation of America’s environmental laws, leaving a chasm on the bench where once sat an environmental champion. Ginsburg, who died yesterday, was the Supreme Court’s longest-serving liberal justice and was best known for her advocacy on women’s rights. But she also played a critical role in opening courtroom doors to green groups and established broad interpretations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and other laws. Ginsburg’s passing and the court’s increasingly conservative leanings, experts warned, raise significant questions about the future of environmental law. …”

    I hope that younger voters, who are less likely to vote, will choose to turn out in favor of issues that are important to them. Biden is heavily favored in this group.

    1. “leaving a chasm on the bench where once sat an environmental champion.”

      Supreme Court Justices are supposed to be champions of the Constitution not the environment.

      1. “Supreme Court Justices are supposed to be champions of the Constitution not the environment.”

        How is protecting the environment not Constitutional??

  7. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Col.): “I think we’re too close to the election. The president who is elected in November should be the one who makes this decision.” (source)

    Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas):

    “I believe the American people deserve to have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court Justice, and the best way to ensure that happens is to have the Senate consider a nomination made by the next President.

    Confirming a new Supreme Court Justice during a presidential election year for a vacancy arising that same year is not common in our nation’s history; the last time it happened was in 1932. And it has been almost 130 years since a presidential election year nominee was confirmed for a vacancy arising the same year under divided government as we have today.

    In 1992, while serving as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and with a Republican in the White House, Vice President Joe Biden said his committee should “seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings” on any potential nominees until the campaign season was over.” (source)

    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas): “It has been 80 years since a Supreme Court vacancy was nominated and confirmed in an election year. There is a long tradition that you don’t do this in an election year.” (source)

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.): “If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait to the next election” (This was actually what he said in 2018, doubling down on his previous stance. )

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): “I don’t think we should be moving on a nominee in the last year of this president’s term — I would say that if it was a Republican president .” (source)

    Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.): “It makes the current presidential election all that more important as not only are the next four years in play, but an entire generation of Americans will be impacted by the balance of the court and its rulings. Sens. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid have all made statements that the Senate does not have to confirm presidential nominations in an election year. I will oppose this nomination as I firmly believe we must let the people decide the Supreme Court’s future.” (source)

    Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa): “A lifetime appointment that could dramatically impact individual freedoms and change the direction of the court for at least a generation is too important to get bogged down in politics. The American people shouldn’t be denied a voice.” (source)

    Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa): “We will see what the people say this fall and our next president, regardless of party, will be making that nomination.” (source)

    Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.): “Vice President Biden’s remarks may have been voiced in 1992, but they are entirely applicable to 2016. The campaign is already under way. It is essential to the institution of the Senate and to the very health of our republic to not launch our nation into a partisan, divisive confirmation battle during the very same time the American people are casting their ballots to elect our next president.” (source)

    Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.): “The very balance of our nation’s highest court is in serious jeopardy. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I will do everything in my power to encourage the president and Senate leadership not to start this process until we hear from the American people.” (source)

    Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.): “The next President must nominate successor that upholds constitution, founding principles.”

    Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.): “I strongly agree that the American people should decide the future direction of the Supreme Court by their votes for president and the majority party in the U.S. Senate.” (source)

    Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.): “The next Court appointment should be made by the newly-elected president.” (source)

    Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.): “In this election year, the American people will have an opportunity to have their say in the future direction of our country. For this reason, I believe the vacancy left open by Justice Antonin Scalia should not be filled until there is a new president.” (source)

    Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.): “The Senate should not confirm a new Supreme Court justice until we have a new president.”

    Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.): “There is 80 years of precedent for not nominating and confirming a new justice of the Supreme Court in the final year of a president’s term so that people can have a say in this very important decision.” (source)

    Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio): “I believe the best thing for the country is to trust the American people to weigh in on who should make a lifetime appointment that could reshape the Supreme Court for generations. This wouldn’t be unusual. It is common practice for the Senate to stop acting on lifetime appointments during the last year of a presidential term, and it’s been nearly 80 years since any president was permitted to immediately fill a vacancy that arose in a presidential election year.” (source)

    1. These are all good. And that is what should happen.

      But Trump should nominate someone so the electorate knows how that issue will be taken care of when they decide who they vote for.

      Biden should also name someone he would nominate so the electorate knows how he would fill the seat. But I dont think that will happen. I believe his selection will be very liberal and could turn off many centrist voters leaning toward Biden

        1. I agree, but Garland does not meet the democrats positions that have moved considerably left since Obama nominate Garland. Garland is considered a moderate liberal. Biden has already said he will nominate a black female. I have no idea who he could pick, but my thoughts are his picks will be much closer to RBG to meet the requirements of AOC, Warren and Sanders than Garland.

          1. Ron P, that is false and of course made no difference anyway to Republicans intent on stealing power for their shrinking party in 2016. The Democratic primaries offered yet another opportunity for voters to go left and they roundly rejected it, just as they did in 2016. How the losers in the primary supposedly control the party’s direction is an absurdity I leave it to you to explain.

            Your then saying someone closer to RBG will be to satisfy AOC must be a bad joke, given Bader had been there 27 years. Not sure how that gets spun into “going left”. Biden will nominate a woman, as will Trump so Garland is off the table. We don’t know if she will be black as he didn’t say his 1st nominee would be a black woman.

            1. ” The Democratic primaries offered yet another opportunity for voters to go left and they roundly rejected it, just as they did in 2016. ”

              They did. They did not have a “moderate” in the field. Biden was just placing himselt as the least left. Then he selects Harris, someone who offers little in geographic appeal, to be VP. Look at her voting record. Is it moderate (centrist)? Compare her to Manchin.

              Then look at Biden 20+ years ago and what he believed in to today. Is he still that moderate? I dont believe he is.

              Last, naming someone like RBG instead of Garland is a choice further left. How is that not “moving left”?

              1. Biden is a long standing moderate Democrat. So is Amy Klobuchar as was Buttegig (sp?). Harris was chosen to untie the party, not hand it over and that is standard political strategy by parties. Are there Bernie types in the party? Hell yes, including Bernie and we’re proud of it. They don;t have the keys however and won’t anytime soon. Pelosi also put them in the corner while boosting the new members from the 2018 election who were almost all centrist, though they didn’t get air time AOC – she’s pretty and knows how to use Twitter – and the rest of Squad got, which was mostly stupid and bad.

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