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. RBG was “praised” by many as an “activist judge”. Personally I find the very idea of an activist judge very unsettling and a demeaning term. If a person chooses to be an activist and and wishes to change the laws in our nation, that can only be done outside of the judicial system. We have a Constitution and any and all laws must be framed within Constitutional limits. We cannot allow judges to abrogate the Constitution or the will of our elected officials to suit their individual notions of right and wrong.
    Under normal circumstances I might have agreed with some wanting the appointment of her replacement postponed until after the upcoming election. However, I will not give in to threats of more violence if Trump is re-elected or cave to threats of violence if the President and senate fulfill their duties and appoint a new member to the Supreme Court to replace RBG. Of course, Judge Sullivan weighs heavily on my mind as an “activist” judge. This country does not need Judge Sullivan or others of his ilk.
    It is time to replace activist judges with Constitutionalists. RBG is no exception, she must be replaced with a Constitutionalist.


      The judicial branch has no power to legislate or execute.

      Its sole charge is to assure that actions comport with statutory and fundamental law.

      “…courts…must…declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

      “…men…do…what their powers do not authorize, [and] what they forbid.”

      “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

      – Alexander Hamilton

    2. If interpreting and upholding the Constitution makes you an activist Judge then perhaps that is what she was. She did not undermine the Constitution with hypocrisy or pandering. If the Republicans push to fill that seat on the heels of thier refusal to allow Obama his Constitutional right to Nominate a Judge then the Republican party will have dug its own grave most thoroughly. If they push to place a Judge and that judge swings the court to uphold Trump in a show of Fascist force, they will most likely be responsible for the next Civil War. The current violence is a result of unjust and un-Constitutional behaviors and inequities. It goes back a long time to economic violence perpetrated against solid working class people by profiteers. Call it what you will but you can not have an America where you don’t respect the freedom of the PEOPLE’s choices.

      1. If interpreting and upholding the Constitution makes you an activist Judge then perhaps that is what she was.

        You’re under the illusion that you know something.

      2. Yep. You sho skeearred ’em!

        By law, the President and Senate have a duty to appoint and seat a new Justice of the Supreme Court as soon as humanly possible, as the Supreme Court docket persists unabated.

        In the case of the office of the President, a Vice President is extant and ready, with no gap; no empty space in time prior to the assumption of office.

        The duty of the President and Senate to appoint Supreme Court Justices is not qualified and is, therefore, absolute.

        Article 1, Section 2, Clause 2

        The President…shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint…judges of the Supreme Court,…

    1. Or What if the Senate doesn’t delay, Sen Feinstein & the rest of her American Hating Commie/Fascist Dim/Rinos will have their antiphs/BLM Goons Burn/Loot/Mur.der more of their Shole cities/states?


    By law, the President and Senate have a duty to appoint and seat a new Justice of the Supreme Court as soon as humanly possible, as the Supreme Court docket persists unabated.

    In the case of the office of the President, a Vice President is extant and ready, with no gap; no empty space in time prior to the assumption of office.

    The duty of the President and Senate to appoint Supreme Court Justices is not qualified and is, therefore, absolute.

    Article 1, Section 2, Clause 2

    The President…shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint…judges of the Supreme Court,…

  3. Lindsey Graham again shows that he’s a hypocrite, placing will to power above all:

    “I will support President Donald Trump in any effort to move forward regarding the recent vacancy created by the passing of Justice Ginsburg.”

    Lindsay Graham on March 10, 2016: “I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president [chosen] in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination. And you could use my words against me and you’d be absolutely right. We’re setting a precedent here today.”
    video: twitter.com/vanitaguptaCR/status/1307153104941518848

    Lindsay Graham on October 3, 2018: “If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait till the next election.”
    video: https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4907664/user-clip-graham-promise

    Graham can pretend that the Kavanaugh confirmation changed something — saying in August that “After Kavanaugh, the rules have changed as far as I’m concerned” — but the Kavanaugh hearings were in September 2018, so Graham’s 10/3/2018 statement was made after those hearings.

    A reminder that 83 (!) complaints were lodged with the court in relation to Kavanaugh’s testimony, including many allegations that he’d lied in his testimony, and they weren’t investigated because they weren’t passed along for investigation until after he’d been confirmed: https://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/ce/misconduct/kavanaugh-complaints

      1. How are we going to know the difference between a BLM riot or a RBG riot?

        Given how the BLM Anarchists have killed Trump supporters, slapped elderly women, disrupted businesses, burned buildings and stalked Mayors, McConnell should be concerned. And this from a “Moral Majority”!


        On Monday, September 21 at 3:30pm ET the Kentucky Poor People’s Campaign is organizing caravans to each of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s offices in Kentucky and Washington, DC to demand an end to his Meanness, Misery & Mayhem!

        1. That caravan was planned by the PPC before RBG died.

          And one of the reasons for it is that McConnell is harming a lot of everyday Americans by refusing to take up multiple House bills, including the Covid-19 economic aid package. A lot of people are at risk of becoming homeless because of the high unemployment, due to Trump’s f’d up response to COVID. It simply doesn’t work to have health insurance tied to employment, and the Trump Admin. is fighting in court to do away with current pre-existing condition coverage through the ACA with nothing to replace it. He’s had 3+ years to produce a replacement, but he’s too incompetent to do it.

          Here’s the text from https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/moral-monday-mcconnell/

          “Before the pandemic, there were already 140 million people who were poor or one emergency away from being poor. Now, millions more are facing unemployment, evictions, hunger and economic ruin, while we still do not have guaranteed health care and COVID-19 continues unabated.

          “We are facing the worst public health crisis in a century and an economic recession that stands to rival the Great Depression. Since March, more than 50 million unemployment claims have been filed. At least 27 million people have lost their employer-sponsored health insurance, joining the 87 million who were already uninsured or underinsured. The moratorium on evictions has expired and a wave evictions will hit undocumented people, poor renters and people of color first and worst. The $600 unemployment payments that have kept 30 million people afloat have also expired.

          “Yet, under Mitch McConnell’s leadership, Senate Republicans have proposed a bill that will leave citizens and states with fewer protections and funds. Call Mitch McConnell NOW to demand real and just relief from the pandemic and economic ruin!”

    1. I think Lindsay Graham learned something during the Kavanaugh fiasco. After the democrats trashed Justice Kavanaugh, he’s just returning the favor.

  4. I think the SC will be further evolving away from RBG’s style of judicial activism. The natural course of events will be to
    place more focus on Congress as the place where national policy controversies go to get settled, and oblige activists to
    switch from elitist gaming of the system to persuasion out in the public view.

    1. The current line up re-wrote federal civil rights law to cover ‘sexual orientation’ when Congress had declined to do so multiple times and rules that the Secretary of Commerce could not direct the Census Bureau to enumerate the citizen population on this years census, even though it’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do, even though it’s been done before, and even though that datum is collected on intercensal surveys.. So, fat chance.

    2. The “gaming of the system’ is in full flower with the modern GOP. You’ve won 1 of the last 7 presidential votes and are as busy as possible installing judges who are young and in no way represent the popular will of the people. Your party enacts laws and regulations with the intent of limiting voters who’s demographics are unfavorable to them, and rigged districting so that purple states like Florida and Pennsylvania have congressional and state legislative groups that are heavily in their favor, when by vote, they should be close to 50/50. In short, the clear and shrinking minority which the party represents is doing it’s best to lock up the government to express their minority viewpoints. Democrats favor minimizing the influence of money in our elections, the institution of state non-partisan commissions to achieve fair districting, and the encouragement of voting through polling reform.

  5. Meanwhile at Trump’s Bemidji rally yesterday:

    Oliver Darcy: “Here’s the President of the United States celebrating an American journalist getting shot with a rubber bullet while using his First Amendment right to cover a protest *in America*. Trump says it was a ‘beautiful sight’ and frames it as ‘law and order.’ The crowd cheers.”
    video: https://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1307361955796135942 — Trump mistakenly claims Velshi was with a canister of tear gas

    Ali Velshi’s response this morning:
    “So, @realDonaldTrump, you call my getting hit by authorities in Minneapolis on 5/30/20 (by a rubber bullet, btw, not a tear gas cannister) a ‘beautiful thing’ called ‘law and order’. What law did I break while covering an entirely peaceful (yes, entirely peaceful) march?”

    Trump is not a “law and order” president. He’s a President who wants exemptions from the law for himself and some of his friends and responds with glee when those who oppose him are harmed.

    1. If the ‘journalist’ remained on the scene during the riot the ‘journalist’ was a rioter. In the video I saw the ‘journalist’ earned a couple of rubber bullets in the balls and another in the teeth.

  6. A tribute song for RBG

    I will make you queen of everything you see, I’ll put you on the map, I’ll cure you of disease. She asked me, “Son, when I grow old, Will you buy me a house of gold? And when your father turns to stone, will you take care of me?”

    People still steal, cheat and lie for wealth and what, it will buy but don’t they know, on judgment day that gold and silver, will melt away and I’d rather be, in a deep dark grave and know that my, poor soul was saved than to live in this world, in a house of gold and deny my god.

  7. Regardless of any “McConnell rule” (aka “Biden rule”), the vacancy should be filled ASAP. The reason is that even if that rule applied (which it doesn’t because the party in WH and Senate are the same), if the shoe were on the other foot, the Democrats would ignore the rule (applicable or not) and fill the vacancy now. The reason I say this is that Schumer has already stated that he will discard the filibuster, meaning the Democrats are already on record that they’ve no respect for Senate policy or practices that are meant to allow for some representation from the minority party. Why should the Republicans play nice now when they know that the Democrats won’t if they win majority in the near future (and the Democrats haven’t up to this point even being in the minority)?

    1. DV, I hope it’s ignorance and not deceit behind your BS post.

      Senate comity and tradition were buried by the GOP when Obama was elected and we have the smoking guns.

      After declaring that keeping Obama from gaining a 2nd term was his #1 priority as Senate Minority leader – and Sen DeMint saying they were going to make health care Obama’s Waterloo – the GOP members voted lock step over and over again while breaking all records for filibusters. Check W’s major legislation and you’ll see Dems were almost never lockstep and he won significant numbers of support from them.

      Here’s a graph showing filibusters:


      Then in 2016 the GOP stole a SC seat from a twice popularly elected president.

      The rules are broken and their will be payback. The GOP probably should figure out how to take their power play because there will be no mercy from here on out. Their problem is they claimed there was high minded principle behind stealing the SC seat in 2016 and now they have to acknowledge they were full of s..t then if they want to ram it through. A majority no doubt will want to do that – they have no principles after enabling our scum bag in chief for the last 4 years (literally no principles since they have no platform either) – but there are those on the edges who will have hard time admitting that or who actually have principles.. If Kelly wins Arizona, which is now likely, that’s one less as he will take office immediately.

      1. “The rules are broken and their will be payback.”

        Here are the rules —->> the majority party determines how to proceed with a Supreme Court nomination. R’s can and will fill the seat.

        1. They will try. No argument there.

          The Senate has a responsibility to advise and consent on presidential appointments to the SC. They failed to do that in 2016 and supposedly for high minded reasons you and they are now saying was BS. You see the problem?

          1. McConnell had no constitutional obligation to take up Obama’s Garland nomination in 2016. You see the problem with your argument?

            1. Of course he did. SC nominess are made by the President “with the advice and consent of the Senate.” There is no “exceptions” clause. It was a clear failure of duty. They did not advise and they did not consent.

        2. The Senate has rules, and the majority members are not the only ones with power. All Senators can slow proceedings to a crawl. McConnell brought it to a standstill in 2016. Maybe turnabout is fair play.

  8. “If any Republican senators try to break ranks and join with Democrats, they should be expelled from the party permanently.”

      1. ‘During a 1pm conference call of Senate Dems, aides say Sen, Schumer told his colleagues: “Let me be clear: if Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year. Nothing is off the table.” @Ed O’Keefe

        Never forget what D’s and their media allies did to destroy Kavanaugh. No confirmation hearings. Fill the seat.

        R’s do not owe D’s any courtesy. None.

        ‘It amazes me that any Republican would sit around worrying about the Biden rule after what Dems tried to do to Kavanaugh.’ (David Harsanyi )

        Yet watch. R’s always break ranks. It’s unacceptable.

            1. Indeed, I agree that now it is power only and the GOP’s actions since Obama caused that change. The traditions honoring the idea that a President is owed a choice he favors if not completely objectionable to the opposition – Garland had already been confirmed by many of the same GOP senators for the DC court and they had spoken highly of him – is gone and it will be trench warfare in the future. The question now is if there are enough GOP senators willing to be open power fighters and open hypocrites about previously claimed high minded principles to get the nominee passed. Probably 3 is enough to say no (Kelly probably takes McSally’s seat ion Nov 4.)

              There will be payback in the future for the various bars lowered by GOP Senators and Trump, and you will not like it.

              1. Excuse me. Were you not watching the Kavanaugh hearings? How about the sham impeachment?

                What “traditions” have Democrats “honored” when they had an opportunity to wield power, whether constitutionally or not? None.

                Again, McConnell had no constitutional obligation to take up Obama’s Garland nomination in 2016.

                1. I did watch the Kavanaugh hearings. He got a more than fair hearing and should have been rejected on the basis of hos behavior at it.

                  I watched and followed the impeachment hearings and the trial where for the 1st time EVER in our long history no witnesses were called even though a key 1st person witness was waiting in the wings. The charge and the facts, if Obama had been President, would have blown your head up and you know it.

                  1. “He got a more than fair hearing and should have been rejected on the basis of his behavior at it.”

                    Justice Ginsburg called the Kavanaugh hearings “wrong” and a “highly partisan show” that should never happen. RBG has also called Kavanaugh ‘smart and decent’…..

                    Accusations of participating in Gang rape? Rummaging through high school yearbook comments? It was a circus and dumpster fire of defamation. It was a disgrace to anyone watching. That’s all on the Democrats.

                    Same goes for the Dem’s sham impeachment. It was a disgrace.

                    1. Biden’s VP pick, Sen. Kamala Harris was one of the ring leaders in smearing Kavanaugh. Her performance was a disgrace.

                    2. Kavanaugh got a hearing and a seat. Garland got neither and he was an non-controversial nominee who Republicans had previously praised.

                      Kavanugh’s boorish and gross behavior as a youth was bad but not worthy of rejection. His behavior at the committee, were he insisted on lying about that past, was disqualifying.

                      Trump’s extortion was disgraceful and the Senate refusal to allow witnesses a precedent breaking mockery of our traditions. The Presidents own Natl Sec Advisor was prepared to testify under oath to his guilt of the charge.

                    3. Ginsburg made those comments on September 12, 2018, **before** Christine Blasey Ford’s claims became public and before that part of the hearings, so don’t pretend that that’s what she was talking about.

                      She was actually talking about the degree of partisanship. She said “The way it was, is right; the way it is, is wrong. … “The vote [for Scalia] was unanimous. Every Democrat and every Republican voted for him. But that’s the way it should be, instead of what it’s become, which is a highly partisan show. … I wish I could wave a magic wand, and have it go back to the way it was.”

                      Yes, she said “My two newest colleagues [Gorsuch and Kavanaugh] are very decent, very smart individuals.” And Kavanaugh said about all of the Justices “They are patriots. They love our court and love our country,” and added “I’m grateful for Justice Ginsburg for being so generous to me. Ruth Ginsburg is an inspiration.”

                      But there were serious problems with the Kavanaugh hearings and investigation: McConnell refused to allow relevant witnesses to present testimony, Trump refused to allow a full FBI investigation, and 83 people submitted complaints to the court, many of them alleging that Kavanaugh had lied under oath: https://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/ce/misconduct/kavanaugh-complaints But these complaints were not forwarded for investigation until after Kavanaugh was confirmed, and the court determined that they didn’t have jurisdiction to investigate. That combination of preventing relevant investigation is truly f’d up..

                    4. It was a circus. That is on the Dem’s and their media. Christine Blasey Ford is a complete fraud. Not one person corroborated a single thing she said. Not one thing. Not even her own family. Not even her best friend she alleged was with her that evening. Check out who her ‘beach friends’ are. What a load of crock.

                    5. No, it’s not “on the Dem’s and their media,” when (a) the media don’t belong to “the Dems,” and (b) the Republicans and Kavanaugh contributed as well.

                      “Christine Blasey Ford is a complete fraud.”

                      Your opinion. Not a fact.

                      “Not one person corroborated a single thing she said.”

                      There was some corroboration (e.g., therapist notes from years earlier), and lots of trials are decided without additional witnesses, based solely on the credibility of the witnesses who do testify. Moreover, she wasn’t the only relevant witness, and McConnell would not allow all of the relevant witnesses to be called, Trump would not allow the FBI to do a full investigation, and the court was prevented from doing an independent investigation of the additional allegations (e.g., re: Kavanugh committing perjury).

                  2. As far as Kavanaugh is concerned, he was guilty until proven innocent. If Trump were to loose the election this would be a nice going away present to leave the democrats.

              2. Ask Harry Reid. He will fill you in. He got rid of the fillibuster and he lied in the Halls of Congress slandering Romney and then bragged about it.

                Alternatively ask Obama ‘I have a phone and a pen’.

                Check out the Obama Administrations lies and weaponization of the Intelligenc agencies and the IRS

                I am embarrassed that I formerly was a registered democrat.

              3. HAHA! PAYBACK? we have had 3 and half plus years of PAYBACK from the Hillary stay-behind faction

                we have had over 100 days of continuous rioting, looting, and arson, attacking federal courts, countless peace officers assaulted now murdered, nearly all in numerous Democratic mayor controlled major cities all blamed vaguely on cops, racists, Republicans, Trump, etc



                At this point, who cares what the threats are! Their shock troops BLM have been threatening to burn it all down, now they do too!

                Do not show any hesitation! COCAINE MITCH GO GO GO!

  9. Hmmm. “NPR said that just days before her death, Ginsburg dictated a statement to her granddaughter, Clara Spera, which said, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

    Well, I ain’t believing it until I hear a tape.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky, I agree. I think this is something that her granddaughter wished had been said, or else her granddaughter is taking advantage of GRB’s popularity to gin up Democrat contributions.

    2. Did RBG also wish for new stockings for Christmas? She can’t will her position to anyone and her wishes are not important.

      1. If my own experience with moribund people is representative, no one around her remembers what her last words were because those words were perfectly banal and not known when they were uttered to be anything special. They might recall one conversation or another in her last weeks.

    3. Are you implying that Ginsburg amended or, had she actually made that preposterous and immutably unprovable statement, had any power to amend the Constitution at any time, including on her death bed?

      The communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) will do or say anything to achieve their goals of abolition of freedom, acquisition of power and global dominion of communism.

      “The end justifies the means.”

      – Commissar Leon Trotsky

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