Issue: Consistency is key, let the people choose


Editorial Board

By now, we all know that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.

During this already hectic time in politics, this is a major loss, not just for the Democratic Party, but for the country. Ginsburg played an integral part in the fight for the rights of women and the LGBTQ community. She also appeared before the Supreme Court numerous times before becoming a justice herself. But what more about her life in politics and role as an iconic leader will she be remembered for?

Ginsburg was nominated as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by former President Bill Clinton in 1993.Ginsburg’s passing, though, seems to bring controversy when it comes to the matters of replacing her. 

There is a want for a level of consistency when the conversation arises. 

The replacement of a new justice during an election year is not a unique situation. When Justice Scalia died in 2016, members of the legislature argued it was not within the powers of the president to fill the role until an election took place, seven months later. 

“The American people,” McConnell said then, “should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice.”

With just over a month until the 2020 election, McConnell is singing a different song this time around. 

“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” McConnell said in a statement Friday Sept. 18. 

Trump tweeted Tuesday, Sept. 22 that he plans to announce his nominee pick Saturday, Sept. 26.

From an interview on “Fox and Friends” Friday, Sept. 18, Trump said that he already had conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit of Chicago in mind. 

This is not the first time Barrett has been considered for this prestigious position. Back in 2018, she was a heavy hitter for the role until Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

The people of this nation should echo McConnell’s 2016 sentiments and “let the people have a voice,” in who the next Supreme Court Justice should be. 

Unfortunately, that is not how that works. According to Article I section IV of the constitution,  both houses of Congress are allowed to create their own rules for proceedings that is inclusive of the judicial confirmation process. Under the Senate’s current rule, the nomination is sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, currently run by the Republican party. 

We believe Americans have the right to vote for the next Supreme Court Justice. But what can be done?

Write to your representatives; express concern, they are supposed to listen to their constituents. What we do know  though from all of this is that filling the shoes of the iconic Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be no easy task.

The Collegian Editorial Board meets weekly and agrees on the issue of the editorial. The editorial represents the opinion of The Collegian.