2020 strikes again.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday due to complications from cancer. Before passing, she shared her final wish: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
Ginsburg was and will always be remembered as a gender equality champion, and it will be extremely hard to replace her on the Supreme Court. Who should replace someone like her and what will the consequences be of a new justice? That is the question that is now one of the most heated political topics leading up to the election.
Most Republicans want to move quickly to fill the opening. They want President Donald Trump to nominate someone and then the Republican-controlled Senate to confirm that person. Democrats want to wait until the election for the president to nominate. Although engaging in this process before the election is the Republicans’ constitutional and legal right, the smell of hypocrisy is overwhelming.
In 2016, Senate Republicans blocked President Barack Obama’s choice to replace Antonin Scalia because they said it was an election year and the people should decide through their vote in a new president. At the time, there were 11 months until the election. I do not have enough space in my article to inform you of how many times a Republican said in 2016 that there should not be a Supreme Court nomination process during an election year, but I want to highlight what Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in 2016.
“I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president 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 the nomination,” he said.
Can you guess what he said just recently? It is shocking.
“I am dead set on confirming President Trump’s nominee.”
There are 43 days left until the election. What is the difference between 11 months and 43 days? Nothing. The Republicans have truly set a new low with this. The party with core values of tradition, precedent and honesty seems to be lost.
Thankfully, two Republicans have already said no to moving forward. Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have vowed to not vote on a nominee until after we decide the next president and we should urge all senators to wait until after the election.
If the Republicans are confident in their ability to win on Nov. 3, then we should wait until after then to move forward with a nominee. There is too much at stake to allow President Trump and the Republicans to give America a going away present of an extremely conservative Supreme Court.
Let us honor Ginsburg’s last wish and the idea that we, the people, should decide on Nov. 3 who should pick the next Supreme Court Justice.
If Donald Trump wins, then we should respect his pick.
If Joe Biden wins, then we should respect his pick.
Bradley DeMers is senior studying political science at FHSU. He is a former Student Government Association president and has worked for politicians in both main political parties.