Some years from now, when another large piece of a U.S. mountainside is sculpted to exhibit the faces of some of the strongest, wisest, most fearless female leaders in our history, we can be sure to see the face of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg alongside the likes of Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Sandra Day O’Connor and other great women who helped change the course of American history. Their efforts and perseverance through the most difficult of times served to make the lives of each and every one of us better in a multitude of ways, all based on the simple premise of "equal rights for all." Our nation was blessed to have had Ruth Bader Ginsburg on our highest court for the past 27 years, always arguing for all that was fair, equal and right.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg made our lives better and fairer. Her challenge to Congress to end pay discrimination toward women, which led to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, benefited women and families across the country. What made Ginsburg truly a treasure was her ability to remind us how much we all lose when discrimination exists toward any group. In her elegant arguments — whether against discredited notions of a woman’s place or abilities or against the evisceration of the Voting Rights Act — she taught us that unchallenged prejudices hurt not just women but men, families, communities and the nation as well.
Our country has lost a great jurist, a fighter for equal rights for all, and a progressive icon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg will forever be remembered for her brilliant rulings, legal arguments, and compassionate heart. Her zest for life, truth, and even her passion for culture and humor, have earned her a place in history as one of our most remarkable Supreme Court justices and leaders in our nation’s history.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death has set off an intense political battle ["Supreme battle brews over Ginsburg’s seat," News, Sept. 21]. How come Republicans don’t want to apply their same 2016 policy, especially since this time the presidential election is just weeks away? On Rosh Hashanah, when Ginsburg died, we read the prayer for our nation and its rulers. Here are some of the words: "We pray for all who hold positions of leadership and responsibility in our national life. Let your blessing rest upon them, and make them responsive to Your will, so that our nation may be to the world an example of justice and compassion." It is our obligation as Americans to demand that our leaders act fairly and righteously to apply the same consideration for the appointment of a new justice no matter whose party is in power.
Is there no pleasing Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer? In 2016, he had a fit when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not allow a hearing for a Supreme Court vacancy in President Barack Obama’s final year. Now, in 2020, he seems to be having another fit because McConnell has realized that he was wrong in 2016 and will do it Schumer’s way this time around, considering President Donald Trump’s nominee before the end of Trump’s first term. Schumer should be happy that McConnell is doing it his way.
W.J. Van Sickle,
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not dead for more than a few hours and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell boasts that the Senate will vote on a replacement despite it being only 46 days to the election, despite the fact that four years ago, with more than eight months to Election Day, McConnell refused to hold hearings for President Barack Obama’s selection to replace Justice Antonin Scalia. This utter hypocrisy is no surprise to me as McConnell has proven himself to be an unethical sycophant of President Donald Trump, who offers no expectation of fairness or ethical behavior. I believe that those who demand an ethical government and respect for our country’s foundations know that McConnell and Trump’s pursuit is wrong. A strong democracy does not allow the rule of law and spirit of fairness under the law to be trampled upon. This is a slippery slope with possible irrecoverable damage to the belief in an equitable system of government. It threatens to tear the soul from our country and divide us even further.
As we begin to work ourselves into an emotional fervor as both political parties jockey for the moral high ground on whether Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement should be nominated before or after the election, consider what would happen if the other party was in power? Would Joe Biden as president and Chuck Schumer as the Senate majority leader stand idly by while approaching what appears to be a close election, or would they work quickly to fill the seat with their preferred choice with the ability to do so? Nothing in their history indicates to me they would act any differently than President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and the prospect of President Donald Trump nominating another justice now has the Democratic leaders beside themselves. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer apparently is not kidding when he says the Democrats intend to stop Trump’s appointment, which the president has the right to make. If Trump wins in November, I believe we can expect nothing short of a revolution in the streets. I see House Speaker Nancy Pelosi trotting out her impeachment machine once again to complement the work of the street protesters. Trump’s nominee is going to need a tough hide.
With more than eight months left in Barack Obama’s presidency, Republicans refused to even entertain the thought of having a hearing to consider Judge Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. Republicans maintained the next president should name the Supreme Court nominee. But now? With six weeks left, Republicans want to push through their nominee. I say, "Hypocrisy, thy name is the disgraceful Republican Party."
If we hope to unify our nation after the upcoming election, we should remember its remarkable accomplishments at home and on the world stage, despite polarizing political differences, because we share fundamental values of decency, tolerance and fair play. These better angels have served us well in the quest for our larger national aspirations, freedom and justice, and they should serve us again as we decide when to fill the vacancy left by the recent passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Our own Republican Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, expressed it well. In 2016, with a different presidential election looming in November, he explained the selection of a new justice should wait until after that election. Let’s be the Americans we have always been at our core and show the world we continue to espouse fair play and have the courage to do what’s right no matter how hard it is, even if we must sacrifice our own short-term interests. These greatest strengths define us as a nation.