Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Stop Trump-appointed justice seat from being filled

 

October 2, 2020



I will never forget where I was when I heard of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing. 

Within hours of the announcement of her death Friday night, an outpouring of affection for the first Jewish woman appointed to the country’s highest court had already begun. People spontaneously gathered on the front steps of the Supreme Court building, where she had served as a judge for 27 years, bearing candles and singing Amazing Grace. In other places in the country, crowds gathered to say Kaddish, to remember.

As Jews and non-Jews celebrated her life, however, Republicans were already planning on her replacement. This incredible woman was not even cold when Trump announced that he would name his pick. And his sycophants quickly fell into line. Forget that in 2016, President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland was blocked by many of the same Republicans.

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” stated Mitch McConnell in March 2016. “Therefore, [Justice Anthony Scalia’s] vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

This obviously did not hold true for the current administration. 

While I was writing this article, Senator Mitt Romney signaled that he is on board with the Senate’s taking up a new Supreme Court nominee during the current election year, an announcement that almost ensures the president’s pick will be confirmed.

That same day, my daughter Julie Shapiro wrote a letter to her Colorado senator, Cory Gardner. By supporting another Trump-appointed justice, she said his cohorts are stealing the rights and protections of Americans, particularly those of women, immigrants, minorities, elderly and other vulnerable populations. Accusing him of being on “the wrong side of history,” Julie voiced her concern for her five-year-old daughter.

“It may take a generation or more but I hope someday my daughter’s daughter will live in a country that defends rather than undermines its democratic principles. A country that looks back ruefully but with relief for having overcome this chapter in which people like yourself snatched power from the deserving and flattered yourselves in your delusion that you were helping those that you continuously hurt.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a legal pioneer for gender equality and the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, has died. The possibility of a Supreme Court with a conservative majority is becoming more of a certainty. Where do we go from here? 

Nov. 3 is coming quickly. Honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Keep hounding your representatives, even if many don’t appear to care beyond their own self-interests. Work to get out the vote. Write postcards and letters. Participate in phone banks and texting sessions. And on Nov. 3, vote as if your life and the lives of our children and grandchildren depend on it. And on Jan. 20, 2021, you can share my joy as we welcome a new, better day in America.

Marilyn Shapiro

Kissimmee, Fla.

 

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