Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Reaches Small Community

Nikki Kahn

Nikki Kahn

Nikki Kahn

Jerome County and City News

Washington D.C.- On September 18th 2020, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away in her home due to health complications. Even in the small town of Jerome, Idaho, opinions are split on RBGs death and the matters surrounding it. Her legacy, ideals, accomplishments, and the matter of her replacement are a few examples.

Ginsburg excelled in academics studying law at Harvard and then at Columbia after transferring her final year. She graduated at the top of her class, being one of only 8 other women in her class of 552 men at Harvard in 1956. Ginsburg faced discriminations both there and after graduation when she struggled to find a job despite being well qualified. Her mothers influence along with these events helped inspire her to advocate against discrimination. Eventually finding work, she was hired as a clerk under U.S district judge Edmund L. Palmieri, after which she would go on to take a teaching position at Columbia. Eventually, she was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993 at the age of 60. Ginsburg was known for advocating for women’s rights and gender equality both during her career and as a Supreme Court Justice. Some of her most well known rulings included United States v. Virginia where she wrote the majority opinion which rid the Virginia Military Institution of its male only policy. Olmstead v. L.C where she delivered the majority opinion that States are required to place persons with mental disabilities in community settings rather than in institutions. This decision was known to mark a historic step for disability rights. 

There is a controversy around the issue of her replacement. Opinions are divided on whether Ginsburg should be replaced as soon as possible or if it should wait until after the election in less than two months. President Trump has stated that he plans to nominate a replacement for Ginsburg without delay, tweeting “ We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!”.

Senator Mitch McConnell has sided with Trump on the matter, putting out a statement after Ginsburg’s death saying “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate However, Joe Biden and fellow democrats have accused McConnell of hypocrisy referring to his refusal of allowing Barack Obama from filling a vacancy in 2016 because it was election year. This conflict may have quite an effect on the upcoming election. If Trump fills the vacancy with a Republican, this would create a 6 to 3 majority on the supreme court, something that, according to Dr. Paul Fabrizio, a political science professor at McMurry University, “ would really excite President Trump’s voters. It would excite conservatives. It would excite pro life people who say we need to overturn Roe versus Wade”. On the other hand, democrats are fighting against this, knowing they could be down 6 to 3 in the Supreme Court.

 This matter is inspiring voters on both sides greatly, even in Jerome Idaho. Residents and students at Jerome High School have strong opinions on the matter, especially because of the community being so split politically. Although Jerome is a rather right leaning, conservative city, there is still a considerable amount who oppose Trump and his views.  Former Jerome High School student Mariah Anderson has said “ I think it should wait till after the election, there’s some hypocrisy in the senate” in regards to the matter of RBG’s replacement. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a teacher at Jerome Highschool who wishes to remain anonymous has given her opinion on the matter saying “I think she should be replaced without delay because that follows the constitution. I think Mitch McConnell is just playing politician, fighting for his side.” Both Mariah Anderson and the teacher at Jerome High agree that this issue will greatly affect the election, both of them saying that it will light a fire under both democratic and republican voters.