Recent reports of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s latest bout with resurgent cancer has caused increased panic among some of her progressive supporters.
A recent op-ed in The New York Times noted the possibility that President Donald Trump could nominate Ginsburg’s replacement if she is unable to remain on the bench until Election Day.
“Strengthen the conservative wing”
In addition to concern for Ginsburg’s physical well-being, Mimi Schwartz is among those political activists sounding the alarm regarding the importance of the upcoming election.
The author described Ginsburg as “one of the few people standing between us and chaos,” stressing the impact she has had on the nation since her appointment to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
“If illness forces Justice Ginsburg to step down in the next few months and President Trump gets to pick a replacement, it would strengthen the conservative wing of the Supreme Court for as far as the eye can see, despite some recent rulings that might suggest otherwise,” she wrote.
As it stands, the nation’s highest court has a 5-4 political balance in favor of conservatives. That advantage would expand to 6-3 if Trump has an opportunity to nominate third justice during his first term.
Nevertheless, the president has expressed frustration with the court in response to a number of recent rulings, some of which swung in the liberals’ direction thanks to a vote from Chief Justice John Roberts.
“As long as I can do the job full steam”
Of course, speculation regarding Ginsburg’s health in the short term could be premature, given her positive response to cancer treatments in the past.
“I have often said I would remain a member of the court as long as I can do the job full steam,” she revealed in a statement following her most recent hospitalization. “I remain fully able to do that.”
If Trump is re-elected, however, he could have the opportunity for multiple new Supreme Court nominations. That possible outcome, Schwartz wrote, is “just too painful to contemplate this summer.”
The president’s record on judicial appointments has been a point of pride for the president and his supporters, with the 200th nominee of his first term approved in the U.S. Senate last month.
Whether Trump wins in November or not, it is clear that his administration’s additions to the judicial branch are sure to have a lasting impact on the nation.