People around the world are mourning the loss of one of the most influential and iconic leaders in our society. Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second female justice to serve on the Supreme Court, passed away at the age of 87 on Sept. 18 due to metastatic pancreatic cancer, according to The New York Times.
She was a strong liberal voice on the court for many social issues and favored “defending abortion rights, expanding gay rights, preserving the Obamacare healthcare law, and advancing the rights of racial minorities the poor and disenfranchised,” according to Reuters.
Following Ginsburg’s recent passing, some critics question whether the former justice should have resigned from the bench earlier and wonder if her decision to stay on the Supreme Court was motivated by selfish reasons.
If Justice Ginsburg had retired during a Democratic presidency, then there would have been a strong chance that a young liberal candidate who held similar values would have been chosen to serve on the court. Some said that she should have stepped down during the Obama presidency, but instead she stayed on the bench.
But to Ginsburg, no one could have fulfilled the position like her. When questioned about her decision in an interview with Reuters, she asked, “So tell me who the president could have nominated this spring that you would rather see on the court than me?”
Ginsburg could have retired at any time, but she wasn’t ready to stop doing what she loved. She was passionate about what she did and continuously worked to serve her country.
However, due to Ginsburg’s unwillingness to retire, President Donald Trump now will have the authority to decide a replacement. He announced on Saturday that he was choosing a conservative candidate, Amy Coney Barrett, to fill Ginsburg’s seat.
Barrett, in many ways, stands for the opposite of what Ginsburg wanted on the court. In not stepping down and letting the seat be taken by a justice who shared similar values, she unwittingly gave up her seat for a conservative to fill.
No matter what your political agenda is, you should want justices on the Supreme Court that want to form a society that is fairer and more equal for everyone. Ginsburg did not want to be replaced by a Trump-chosen candidate, but it’s happening anyway.
Right now, there are thousands of protests and riots happening around the world in the act of protesting against racism and police violence. Women are still paid less than their male counterparts and women of color are underrepresented in government positions, according to the Washington Post.
We need people in office who represent the change that we want and are willing to work tirelessly for it. This is who RBG was, this is what she stood for.
Without her, we can only hope that someone will strive to meet the same standards.