What to Know About the Supreme Court Nominations

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Ginsburg and Barrett’s political views differ strongly.

Former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was officially declared dead on September 18, 2020. Considered a rare political voice for women and minority groups, the “Notorious RBG” was quite the pop culture icon, her face appearing on novelty items in stores everywhere around the country. Famously strong-willed and no-nonsense, the justice will be missed by many.

Unfortunately, RBG’s death is also surrounded by controversy over who will take her place. On September 26, President Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett, a Judge for the US Court of Appeals. This nomination is controversial not only because of Barrett herself but also how soon it is before a presidential election. Many believe that it violates the Thurmond rule, stating that a justice can’t be nominated during an election year. However, this isn’t an official rule, and it has been violated in the past. In 2016, President Obama’s nominee was blocked for this reason, while this year Barrett’s nomination is significantly closer to Election Day. This has sparked controversy over whether there should be a more concrete law and the hypocrisy of the senators to violate a rule they insisted on following just a few years ago.

Ginsburg was notably outspoken on women’s rights during her time on the Supreme Court, particularly on the rights of equal pay and equal opportunity in the workplace. She believed that women should be paid equal to men, that women should be able to work and attend college in the same places as men, and ruled that abortion should be a right.

Barrett is seen by some as an opposite version of RBG, going against everything she stood for. Considerably more conservative than Ginsburg, Barrett has been known to share the late Justice Scalia’s views on Constitutional textualism, or interpreting the Constitution as it was originally written. This means she believes in the right for any individual to own a gun, including nonviolent felons. She is also seen to be pro-life and has been speculated to be part of a plan by President Trump to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, which granted the right to abortions. However, Barrett has recently been reluctant to give firm stances on current issues, causing some to be angry with her and claiming that she is avoiding causing more controversy in a last-minute attempt to gain more favor. This, however, remains to be seen.

Barrett’s political views divide both politicians and the general public.

The main concern about Barrett is not necessarily her personal views, but what her addition could mean for the Supreme Court as a whole. If Barrett is added, Republicans would outnumber Democrats 6-3, which has caused some debate over whether the imbalance is fair or not. Some believe that the Supreme Court ought to be evenly divided, while others view it as a tool to accomplish their own political goals, regardless of which side they’re on.

Politics are an extremely dividing topic right now, as we are so close to the 2020 election. Remember to seek out credible sources, think about what issues are important to you, and stay aware of what’s going on and how it affects you and your loved ones.