What filling Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat means

September 25, 2020

Senate Republicans’ choice to go forward in accepting a nomination from Trump in filling Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat for Supreme Court justice is not only a slap in her face, but also a slap in the face of every marginalized group in America. As of right now, there are five Supreme Court Justices who align with conservative values, and only three living liberal justices. 

Adding a sixth conservative justice would surely mean there will be no more toss-ups. There will be no more anticipation in landmark decisions from the Supreme Court because American citizens will already know which direction decisions will sway—even though all justices are sworn into their office with the knowledge of remaining impartial to political parties and removed from potential ongoing political biases. All Supreme Court justices have the same function, the same agenda and the same guiding principles of ensuring judicial integrity of American law. 

At the end of the day, five conservative Supreme Court justices is a majority, but six is a complete domination. Conceivably, Chief Justice Roberts is more center-right if anything and could likely vote in favor of liberal interpretations and decisions, but a sixth conservative Supreme Court justice simultaneously and consistently guarantees that majority. Considering that these positions are life-long and all Supreme Court justices show no indication of leaving office, a conservative-dominant Supreme Court means that much of our young and mid-adult lives will be governed and judicially observed by a conservative force. 

Conservative justices do not unequivocally mean rampant oppression and the consistent denial of decisions that advance minority rights, but it means a major halting of progressiveness is in our future. Conservative mentality in the judicial sense means solely understanding and interpreting the law through a constitutional lens. It means “legislating from the bench” (what conservatives do not want to do) is code for interpreting the law in a way that creates greater freedoms for marginalized groups that have been discussed without representation, persecuted through policy and forgotten constitutionally. 

As we head into an age where younger populations who are increasingly swayed to policies and ideologies of the left are becoming older, we must understand that a conservative-dominant Supreme Court is intentional in preventing our progression. It is intentional as it anticipates a rise in left-leaning policy already at its footsteps. By 2040, racial and ethnic “minorities” will comprise a majority of people in the United States, and which, because of our racialized and white supremacist government, naturally call for widespread political reform and constitutional actualization that does not align with establishment conservatism. 

A conservative-dominant Supreme Court is fervently supported by Senate Republicans, despite the obvious hypocrisy in their eagerness, due to how it cements for the next two decades a conservative halting of progressivity. While the Senate and House of Representatives is likely to be dictated by Democrats or at least liberal pressure in the upcoming years, ensuring a conservative-dominant Supreme Court is ensuring the existence of conservatism as liberal marginalized groups gain power for the next twenty. Not only will contested oppressive policies that have been challenged remain the law of the land, but liberal policies may face scrutiny in the eyes of conservative strict constitutional review.  If the Senate allows for this administration to elect a conservative Supreme Court justice, woman or not, any hope for landmark decisions that could further institutionalize gender and sexual equality, racial justice, indigenous rights and environmental protections is wholly threatened under the mere guise of a conserative stronghold on the voice of a growing marginalized population.

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