Ruth Bader Ginsburg Misses Third Day at Supreme Court. Reason for Both Sides to Fidget.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was forced to miss a third day in a row of arguments Wednesday as she recovers from lung cancer surgery. Chief Justice John Roberts announced that she was “unable to be present,” but will be participating in the decisions “using transcripts of the arguments and court briefs.” (Why not the audio? It’s available to the public at the end of the week.)
Naturally, our first order of business is to pray for her complete healing. No one wants cancer to get another notch on its belt.
And no one doubts Ginsburg is one tough cookie. RBG didn’t miss a day of court arguments in 25 years. Not after her two earlier cancer surgeries, not even the day after her husband’s death. She plays through the pain. She’s Cal Ripken in a robe. Or Freddie Mercury, a rock star with an acclaimed big-budget Hollywood flick celebrating her legal rise.
So Ginsburg not reporting for duty causes shockwaves and agitation, particularly among the Left. As The Daily Wire spotted, Politico columnist Roger Simon would actually sacrifice a day of his life to prolong Ginsburg’s.
If it were possible, would you subtract one day off your life and add it to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life for one extra day of good health? If just 10,000 people did this, it would add 27 productive years to her life. pic.twitter.com/RurqFmWZGp
— Roger Simon (@politicoroger) January 8, 2019
How about having her drink the blood of young virgins? Would that work for you, Roger?
Left Has Reason to Be Worried
The Left has reason to worry. If Ruth Bader Ginsburg passes away or resigns while Trump is in office, liberals lose the Supreme Court for at least a generation. The philosophical balance of the court shifts dramatically towards conservatism. Progressives will not be able to run to the closest friendly law and constitution-morphing judge to overturn laws they don’t like or create directives no Congress would ever pass.
No point even trying to force Catholic hospitals to provide abortions or forcing farmers to declare a backyard pond a protected waterway. No chance of forcing a Christian chef cater a wedding between a self-identifying owl and pussycat.
Less dramatically, you are talking about the difference between a Supreme Court that promotes a limited government of the people and Constitution or one that promotes an expansive government of central control and current political fashion. Losing Ginsburg now or in the near future will set America’s legal course for the foreseeable future. That panics the Left. It’s why the Right also has reason to be worried.
Last year’s fight over Brett Kavanaugh demonstrated the Left will do anything, sink to anything, destroy anyone to maintain its court power. Consider not just the insane accusations that he was a gang-rapist and insinuations he was a pedophile. Remember also the near-unanimous willingness to throw civil liberties and due process straight out the window. Eagerly.
Right Has Reason to Be Worried
And that was just to try and stop a relative moderate from replacing another moderate. What will they do when Trump can replace Ginsburg? When even a moderate nominee will move the court to the right? When the whole game is on the line?
Let’s start with a provocative statement at Conservative Treehouse. “After surgery for cancer removal last year, the media claim — without evidence — that Justice Ginsburg is sufficient of mind and body to review transcripts from testimony and preside over cases. … If I were a plaintiff in any case now in front of the Supreme Court my first line of inquiry would be a request for any absent member to prove they were of sound judgement, etc.” As the site points out, “Factually, there is a reason why Justice Ginsburg is not present. Questioning the details behind unsupported claims is not conspiracy theory.”
Especially given her age, health history, and the fact she’s had broken ribs and a cancer operation in a matter of weeks, it would seem rather logical for RBG to make such an affirmation. Assuming she is able to make such an affirmation.
What are you saying? Are you suggesting RBG and her people would conceal her incapacitation, rather than acknowledge she cannot fulfill her duties? Now that’s just crazy conspiratorial talk! What size is that tin foil hat? Then again, given the stakes, given what happened to Justice Kavanaugh, given what the Left has proven itself capable of, why on earth should anyone give them the benefit of the doubt?
She’s Not One to Quit
Again, I pray RBG is on the mend. I get she might not be ready to jump back into the chambers given the meds she’s likely on. I get that at this very moment she may have the transcripts in one hand and a barbell in the other. Praise God, if that’s the case.
Yet, even if RBG is functioning, we have no reason to assume she will step down even if she does become incapacitated. First off, has anything in her life suggested she’s one to quit? If so, the new movie about her would have been over pretty quick. Second, it is nearly impossible to imagine her quitting during a Trump presidency as long as there is breath in her lungs. Even if that breath is helped along by ventilators. She wouldn’t even give President Obama the chance to replace her, no way on earth does she willingly let Trump. If some people have a Do Not Resuscitate Order, she has a You Darn Well Better Try as Long as That Guy is in The White House Order.
I’m not being harsh. I’d do the same thing, if I knew that the High Court I had served for a quarter century would make a 180% spin the minute I clocked out. If I’m Ruth Bader Ginsburg, champion of abortion and all things progressive, and I saw pro-life conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett waiting in the wings to replace me, I am fighting the Grim Reaper tooth and nail. I’m beating on the Angel of Death like he’s an African drum. I’m hooking myself up to more machines than a cyborg.
I do not go gently into that good night.
History to Repeat?
I exaggerate. Ruth Bader Ginsburg might well hang up her robe with the timing and flare of a great actress knowing when to bow and take in the applause. However, I worry she will be pressured not to. As the above tweet signals, we can expect liberals to offer her whatever blood or organs or witchcraft rituals she needs to carry on past Election Day 2020. “The nation cannot survive another Trump nominee,” she will be told. “Only you can stop the ruination.” It’ll be tough to resist. The stakes being what they are. Ego being what it is.
We’ve seen it before.
Folks old enough may remember Justice William O. Douglass, another liberal Supreme Court icon. In 1974, Douglass suffered a devastating stroke. Clearly, he was incapable of discharging his duties. His faculties were shot. Yet he refused to step down. The other justices were forced to delay cases where he might have been the deciding vote. This went on for nearly a year. The legal giant becoming a punchline. In fact, even after he was finally pressured to resign in November 1975, Douglass kept trying to hear Supreme Court cases for months after his replacement John Paul Stevens was seated. The nine Supreme Court Justices finally had to write a formal letter saying, in effect, “Go home.” It was sad to see.
I don’t care your political ideology. Nobody wants to see that sort of thing again.
Liberalism survived Douglass’ departure. It will survive Ginsburg’s … when the time comes, whenever that time may be.
In the meantime, continue to pray for RBG’s recovery, and the nation’s recovery of its senses.