Siena College's Student Newspaper

Opinion

Take Politics Out of the Supreme Court Vacancy

Courtesy of Society6

I never thought I’d see the day that Ruth Bader Ginsburg would die in the Trump era of the United States. I thought with all that’s going on, the universe would at least have the decency to preserve her seat until the next president, but clearly that has not been the case. With a vacancy on the Supreme Court, it is not surprising that President Donald Trump is rushing to fill it before he’s potentially voted out this November. With dwindling time and the opportunity to swing the Court to the Republican side, it’s not surprise that just hours after her death, Mitch McConnell would reverse his previous statement about allowing the next president to fill the seat in favor of his Republican president now. And it is not surprising that Trump announced his new nominee (surprisingly a woman) just a few days after RBG’s death, even going as far as calling Amy Coney Barrett as the new “Notorious ACB.” 

Can you not? 

Coney Barrett has not done a single thing to earn such a title, let alone take over just such a beloved nickname just days after RBG’s death. 

It is not about her being a Republican, or Trump trying to hurriedly fill the seat in the Supreme Court before his departure, but that once again America is faced with the severe bad habit of making everything political, even law. 

The Supreme Court decisions equate to the highest law in the land, and it’s supposed to be above politics. Yet, every time there’s a seat open, it is flooded from floor to ceiling with politics. When Brett Kavanaugh was nominated (and eventually won the seat), his bad track record and shady personal life was thrown out the window, and his political party was what ultimately won him his seat. The same can be said about Amy Coney Barrett. 

In my personal opinion, it was a smart move by Trump to nominate a woman. His personal track history with women seem to be less than up to par, and his clear disrespect toward powerful women is even more evident. Picking a woman would have been a wild card for Trump if it wasn’t surrounded by RBG’s death. The only respectful notion to replace such a powerful woman would be with another woman, to raise women to the highest court, just like RBG wanted and fought for her whole career. Trump’s pick was more than likely about making the feminists of this country pleased with a woman nominee, hoping we’d all look over her qualifications and the detrimental idea of swinging the court that far toward one political ideology. 

Which brings the question up: why are we so hell bent on swinging the country toward one political ideology in the first place – especially when it comes to something like the law? 

The easy answer is this: that the majority is happy. 

The real answer is this: we’ve let our politicians combine church and state before our very eyes and never said anything. 

Now with Roe v. Wade and other non-political issues re-entering the Supreme Court, the race to swing the court from pretty even to really conservative is on. And it’s bullshit. 

Laws are made to govern everyone. And the Supreme Court’s job is to make a decision not based on their personal political ideology, but based on the country’s needs, and more importantly, to uphold the Constitution. Swinging the Court destroys the true nature of the Court. Despite RBG and Antonin Scalia being huge in their respected political parties, they both took their seat on the Court as being nonpartisan. They knew their job was to uphold the country’s Constitution, not their party’s ideals. They checked their politics at the door.  

Which is why RBG’s seat needs to filled with another judge who understands the value and importance of being nonpartisan on the Court. The Court should not be able to be swung one way or the other so drastically that half our country fears our ideology won’t hold up. Women shouldn’t fear losing rights in the 21stCentury. The country shouldn’t be ruled by politics, but by law. Every opinion should be respected, and yes, examined when it comes to such decisions, but ultimately, when it rises in the Supreme Court, politics should be banned. 

Does the Constitution need to be changed once and while? Absolutely, but do it like RBG did. Don’t make it political or about controlling gender. Do it so that every citizen is benefitted, and packing the Court won’t do this. Not in the slightest.

Leave a Reply