A year earlier, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a huge women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died at the age of 87 at his home in Washington. She died of complications from pancreatic cancer.
Ginsberg spent his final years on the bench as the undisputed leader of the liberal wing of the court and became a rock star to his fans. Young women in particular affectionately referred to him as the infamous RBG, for protecting the rights of women and minorities, and for the strength and resilience he displayed in the face of personal harm and health crises.
Those health issues include five bouts with cancer that began in 1999 that resulted in broken ribs, a stent inserted to clear a blocked artery, and other hospitalizations after turning 75.
His death just six weeks before election day sparked a fight over whether President Donald Trump should nominate a successor, or leave the seat vacant until the election results. Trump nominated Amy Connie Barrett, who was confirmed by the Republican-led Senate just days before the election.
Barrett’s confirmation strengthened conservative control of the court after Trump took two other judges during his presidency — Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 and Neil Gorsuch in 2017.
Many blamed Ginsburg’s death and the newly-tipped Conservative court in Roe v. Wade as a way to reverse it.
Ginsburg wrote powerful dissent of her own in matters involving abortion.
She forcefully disagreed with a 2007 court decision to uphold a nationwide ban on the abortion procedure called anti-partial-birth abortion. The court lifted a similar state ban seven years ago. The “dangerous” decision, Ginsberg said, “can be understood as nothing more than an attempt to take away the authority this court has repeatedly declared — and with a growing understanding of its centrality to women’s lives. “
Many looked for a way to overturn Roe v. Wade earlier this month when the court did not block a new Texas law banning most abortions. The law is the biggest restriction on abortion rights since the court’s historic 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that women have a constitutional right to an abortion, and advocates of abortion rights say it is evidence in Roe v. Wade is in danger.
The court suggested that this was not his last word on the matter.
Now this week all eyes are on the Supreme Court in a different abortion case.
Abortion providers are urging the Supreme Court to overturn Mississippi’s 15-week prohibition on most abortions, saying the decision to uphold it would “invite states to ban abortions altogether.”
Mississippi has already told the court that it should set aside its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. The providers wrote that if the court upheld the Mississippi law, it would lead to the abolition of abortion services in large parts of the Midwest and South.
Meanwhile, some conservative judges this month have spoken out of late on their roles and public perception.
Barrett, speaking at a lecture hosted by the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville on September 12, said that judges “must be extremely vigilant to ensure that they are not allowing personal biases to come into their decisions, as judges also have people. Huh.”
Barrett said the reporting of media opinions does not capture the deliberative process in reaching those decisions. And she insisted that “Judicial philosophies are not the same as political parties.”
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, speaking at the University of Notre Dame on 16 September, criticized the judiciary for the role of some legislators and politicians, saying that it is not the role of judges to make policy or make decisions based on their individuality. feelings or religious beliefs.
Thomas said the reason why judges “entered areas we shouldn’t have entered” is part of the nomination process, especially for federal judges with lifetime appointments like himself, so controversial.
“The court was considered the least dangerous branch and the most dangerous we could have,” Thomas said. “And I think that’s problematic.”
He did not give any specific example.
Many were speculating whether Liberal Justice Stephen Breuer was going to announce his retirement at the end of the court’s term earlier this summer. Liberal activists are pushing for his departure, while Democrats hold a narrow majority in the Senate.
Breyer – and Ginsberg – resisted calls for Democrats to control Congress and the White House the last time Barack Obama was president.
Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 for the first time in 26 years by a Democrat. She initially found a comfortable ideological home on the center left in a conservative court dominated by Republican appointees. The longer he served, his generous voice grew stronger.