In Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s ideal world, her Supreme Court seat would remain vacant until President Donald Trump is out of office. In a statement given to NPR, Ginsburg’s granddaughter communicated that “[her] most fervent wish is that [she] will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” If Trump is not reelected in November, the United States’ has a moral obligation to honor her wish.
Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia passed away in February 2016, with a presidential election looming. Then-President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace the deceased justice, but Garland never made it onto the court. The nomination was successfully blocked by a group led by Mitch McConnell, who passionately believed that the decision should wait until the next president took office so that the nomination would more accurately reflect the will of the people.
Now, fast forward to Sept. 18, the day of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. Mere hours after her passing, McConnell is preparing to hold a Senate vote on her replacement.
By his own logic, this is an affront to democracy. If the will of the public matters, the vote should be postponed until the results of the November election are in. Ginsburg’s passing comes at a time even closer to the presidential election than the death of Justice Scalia.
Ginsburg merely asks for consistency and respect for the nation and that ought to be honored.
Cydney Funk is a philosophy and political science major at Westminster College in Fulton.