When I heard RBG had passed, I had three reactions in this order:

1.) Sadness.  Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an icon well worthy of admiration for women everywhere.  I love that an elderly intellectual woman became such a popular hero.

2.) Worry over her replacement.  Democrats may win the battle to delay appointment of a new justice past the election.  Honestly, I think the travesty was the failure of Obama’s appointment of Merrick.  However, I think Trump has an excellent change of being reelected.

3.) Anger.  RBG was 87.  Why the hell didn’t she step down during Obama’s term?  She said that her greatest wish was to have the next administration appoint her replacement, but words are empty.  Actions are what count.  RBG absolutely had full authority to ensure a likeminded replacement.  RBG was an incredible woman.  But are there not other incredible women who could have filled her shoes?  Kagan and Sotomayor are doing a great job!

I honestly feel like RBG tarnished her legacy significantly by failing to step down sooner.

Yes, it will be hypocritical if the Republicans appoint someone now.  But RBG easily could have died any time in the last four years.  And Trump may be reelected.  To assure her succession, she needed to step down five years ago, at age 82.

I’m curious if others agree with me.  All I see in the news and social media are people talking about how great she was.  Am I the only one also angry with her?

However, I loved these two articles on hyprocrisy.  Genius.  One.  And two.

5 thoughts on “RIP RBG

  1. Daniel Uhlig

    I agree on all three points. I was surprised to learn she will be the first women to lay-in-state. I guess it shows how recently women joined the halls of power. It is frustrating that she and the Democrats assumed that Hillary was going to get to nominate her replacement. On a related note, I find it weird that the retiring justices try (and succeed) in influencing their replacements. It is almost like some of them want a multi-life time appointment. After 20-30 years it is time to step away and let the updated world pick a replacement.

  2. Becca

    There are many judges who have the theory that timing step downs by administration is a prisoners’ dilemma problem. If judges just stopped doing it (most are so untethered from the immediate politics of appointments by retirement age anyway) it would all even out in the end for both parties. But if some judges do it, then other judges feel compelled to do it, and it just trickles through the system.

    As we saw how the Garland nomination went, I don’t think RBG could gaurantee that her replacement wouldn’t have been held up at the end of the Obama administration. McConnell had stalled basically all judicial nominees for the majority of his administration, even for moderate candidates; and the Obama administration did not put great weight or emphasis on appointing the type of Judge that RBG was. Also, she may have been gambling that there was no way Trump would win, like the entirety of the rest of the country, she was probably surprised at the outcome. I am still angry at the choice. Interestingly, it appears Justice Thomas is making some sort of similar choice right now — there was speculation he might step down because he is also getting on in years (and in years on the bench), but he’s either gambling on Trump being reelected or he’s signalling he will also not play the whos-the-President game.

    I think we all need to be reminded that we cannot count on the Courts to protect our civil rights. Elections matter. There are still a lot of way our elected representatives and state governments can protect our rights, even if the Supreme Court refuses to do so.

  3. becca

    Also, I think I can be angry (while understanding) about her not stepping down during the Obama administration; but that alone does not undo her lifetime of greatness. And she was pretty great.

  4. Jennifer

    “Also, I think I can be angry (while understanding) about her not stepping down during the Obama administration; but that alone does not undo her lifetime of greatness. And she was pretty great.”

    Oh yes, she was amazing. I just have been reading 100% about how she is amazing and 0% about how she should have stepped down sooner. I feel the opposite – I think I can believe she was amazing and great and still be angry (and not understanding) that she didn’t step down.

    I am not understanding because she could have worked into her 80s and stepped down at the beginning of Obama’s term. I am broadly annoyed at all the oldsters clogging up positions of power.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I was curious what your take was.

  5. Becca

    When it comes to Judges, they are the exception to my “retire and free up positions of power” sentiment. Judging, particularly at that level, takes a certain measured perspective that is pretty hard for a young person to achieve (though some might) and also, there is a detachment that the older Judges have that allows them to more clearly focus on the legal issue that I don’t see as much in the younger ones. Judges are the only senior leadership I’ve ever worked for that I have thought — I am no where near being able to do that job, it will take decades (that also helps with the detachment). Its definitely a fine wine situation. But I’ll take an older judge any day (with a few exceptions for grumpy incompetence). I think the ideal entry-level age is around 50-55.

Comments are closed.