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Oh, Look: Mother Jones' RBG Warning Came True

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Now that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed, the focus has shifted to filling her seat on the Supreme Court. Whether or not Republicans should move forward with this play – while they have both the Senate and the White House – is being called into question, mostly from the mainstream media and the left. Naturally, they want the GOP to hold off and have the next president make the decision. Obviously, they're hoping Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be the two to appoint RBG's replacement. 

It's interesting, however, to go back and look at the lefty takes on this, especially after Ginsburg decided not to retire during President Barack Obama's time in office. In fact, back in November of 2018, Mother Jones had an entire article about "What the Cult of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Got Wrong." Naturally, that focus was on her decision not to retire under Obama and the possibility that she could die during the Trump administration. 

From the piece (emphasis mine):

But no amount of swag or hagiography can obscure the fact that, while Ginsburg is responsible for a great number of landmark legal decisions, her legacy may be sorely tarnished by one truly terrible one: refusing to retire when President Barack Obama could have named her replacement. That decision came into stark relief this month when Ginsburg fell and broke three ribs—and half of the nation took a collective gasp. Women took to Twitter to offer the justice a rib.


But Carmon and others who’ve helped turn Ginsburg into a pop-culture icon are deluding themselves. Ginsburg is a mere mortal. Falling down is the leading cause of accidental death in people over age 85. The actuarial table is not in her favor. There’s a real possibility Ginsburg will not outlast the Trump administration or live long enough for a Democrat to replace her. The situation today is one many liberal lawyers feared years ago and worked hard to avert. But the feisty justice rebuffed them all, a decision that makes all the hero worship hard for some of us to stomach.


Watch Ginsburg in RBG, the documentary, and it’s hard to be anything but charmed. She’s cute, she’s brilliant, she’s cool. Even the late liberal scourge Justice Antonin Scalia adored her. But how cute will we find Ginsburg if she becomes incapacitated and Trump replaces her with someone like 46-year-old social conservative Amy Coney Barrett, who believes life begins at conception and doesn’t really believe the Supreme Court must uphold precedent like Roe v Wade? A 6-3 conservative majority would push the court yet further to the right and eliminate any possibility that a sitting conservative such as Chief Justice John Roberts might serve as a moderating force and occasionally join with the liberal bloc to preserve critical rights and precedent.

The RBG action figures and the pushup videos will be a paltry balm for the damage likely to be done to racial equality, LGBT rights, and reproductive freedoms if Trump is allowed to replace Ginsburg. By refusing to gracefully transition off the court when Obama could have named her successor, she has raised the very real risk of her seat being filled by someone who will spend a generation trying to undo all she worked for.

If that happens, RBG will become truly notorious.

RBG made her decision. She wanted to keep the job she loved until she felt it was time to retire, which, unfortunately for her and Democrats, never actually came. If she was concerned about her legacy and the issues she championed, she would have stepped aside to ensure they were protected. She was willing to gamble with the possibility of being replaced with a conservative justice. She had a 50/50 shot. Unfortunately for her, her gamble didn't pay off. And now those who agreed with the liberal icon's views are having to pay the price.  

This is a huge opportunity for Republicans to appoint a conservative justice. And while Ginsburg was clear her last wishes were for the next president to decide who replaces her, it was never her decision to make. It was the Constitution's. And the Constitution gives that power and authority to the president to nominate and the Senate to confirm. At the end of the day this isn't about her personal feelings and grievances. It's bigger than her. She made the choice for the nation when she refused to resign. 

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