Clement: In her honor

Cartoonist and columnist Sam Clement grieves over the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as well as her deaths influence over the upcoming election. 

Cartoonist and columnist Sam Clement grieves over the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as well as her death’s influence over the upcoming election. 

Sam Clement

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away last week at the age of 87. This was a devastating blow to many who knew her personally or simply admired her work.

I want to grieve.

I want to mourn the loss of a brilliant and wonderful public figure who spent her career fighting for justice.

I want to have time to cry.

Unfortunately, I have none. I am numb with the fear and the loss of this year and all that is yet to come, and the tears will not come to me. But this is not an article about me. This is an article about us, and where we can go from here.

Justice Ginsburg will not be buried for another week after this article is published. Already, however, President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are making plans to find and swear in her successor in a move that is equal parts hypocritical, ghoulish and terrifying.

I say hypocritical because, of course, when a Conservative justice passed away in February 2016, McConnell stated the Senate would not allow a hearing or nomination from then-President Barack Obama on the grounds that it was an election year. He was as good as his word. Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland, was never even granted an appearance before the Senate.

Democrats, especially the ones further to the political left, were incensed. Of course, now that a member of McConnell’s own party is in a position to stack the Supreme Court, he is more than happy to accelerate the process to get it done in the six weeks before the election. His reasoning is, of course, that Obama was a lame-duck president, while Trump is not.

This is truly pathetic reasoning. Obama was still president at the time, with more than half a year remaining in power, and there’s no small chance that Trump will be voted out in November. If McConnell was actually worried about giving the American people a voice in the makeup of the Supreme Court, as he claimed in 2016, he would wait until after the election.

Ginsburg’s dying wish, according to her granddaughter, Clara Spera, was that her seat not be filled until after the 2020 election. Trump is, of course, intending to honor this dying wish of a titan of justice.

I’m joking; he’s claiming the Democrats made it all up. This is exactly the chance the Conservative wing has been waiting for. The installation of another Conservative Supreme Court justice will dramatically tilt the balance of the nation’s judiciary branch. Democrats are in the Senate minority and have little power to affect this action.

To that end, I beg of you — contact your senators and representatives. Demand that they uphold the precedent McConnell himself set a mere four years ago, and tell them to respect the dying wish of an incredible woman, chief justice, activist and human being. It’s not hard, and it only takes a few minutes to do.

November will be a difficult month for everyone. Ginsburg’s death will undoubtedly increase voter turnout on the right, whether or not a new Supreme Court justice is sworn in before the election.

Left-leaning voters must stand strong behind Joe Biden and cast our votes for Democrats up and down the ballot. We must also recognize that due to the unprecedented number of mail-in ballots, we are unlikely to know who has won for weeks after the election. Trump will try to bully the country into believing he has won. Do not let him. We must do everything in our power to ensure the electoral process runs its course.

But I have gotten off-topic.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died. She led a great life. I would have liked to have been in a world where I could have devoted this article to her achievements, her accomplishments, her works.

Instead, we live in a world where the death of a respected political figure inspires only dread for what her opponents will do now. I was recently informed that, as Ginsburg was Jewish, it is not appropriate to wish that she rest in peace. The correct phrasing would be “may her memory be a blessing.” I am certain it will. May her memory be a blessing for all of us come this November. And, as some of her supporters are wishing, “may her memory be a revolution” as well.