The Successor to a Supreme Court Justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg served 27 years on the Supreme Court, appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1973. As a major force on the Court, Ginsburg often steered the liberal wing of the court for decades. This included important votes on cases like Bush v. Gore and Obergefell v. Hodges. These major cases often were important moments in American history.
And since Justice Ginsburg was often the 5th vote on important decisions, her role looms large. Furthermore, as one of the 4 liberal members of the court, if she is replaced it is likely that the court could shift significantly to the right.
What Affect Would this Have on the Majority?
In this case, the conservative majority will likely grow to 6-3 from the previous 5-4. The court has been divided in a similar fashion for a while now. Before the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, Anthony Kennedy served as the swing vote. Now Chief Justice John Roberts, himself a George W. Bush appointment, is often the swing vote. It was Roberts who was the deciding vote in the famous ObamaCare in
National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius in 2012. As a result, the importance of Ginsburg on the court is hard to overstate. This is why the decision of who will succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is so important. Furthermore, there are many more issues involved than simple politics.
Often, the makeup of the court will have implications in the Senate and beyond. Even the President appointing the next justice with the advice and consent of the Senate will prove to be a major media circus.
Michael Ehline is leading civil rights and personal injury attorney based out of Los Angeles. Ehline is the head of the Ehline Law Personal Injury Attorneys APLC. His legal training allowed him a chance to better understand the wider implications of the court and its effects. Ehline’s role as a civil rights attorney also gave him insight on some of the important decisions of the Supreme Court– both past and present. As a result, the role of what will happen to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat weighs large.
For more info, contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. He also writes a legal blog here.
Who Might Succeed Justice Ginsburg?
Justice Ginsburg came with a major amount of evidence prior to being appointed to the court in 1993. She served as a federal judge and as legal counsel for the ACLU. She also played a major role in the organization’s founding. Furthermore, our recent appointees came with a tremendous amount of legal experience, usually on the federal bench.
As a result, there is a high chance that whoever appoints the next justice will choose someone on the existing circuit or appeals courts. Furthermore, other experiences such as service on a State Supreme Court or as a Solicitor General or Attorney General may be of paramount importance. The highest chance is that President Trump will appoint the next justice. One major factor will be whether or not the Senate has 50 votes to confirm the next justice.
It’s not clear that the Republicans in the Senate will have enough votes. They have 53 members of the Senate and have a chance to do so– so long as the GOP doesn’t lose four votes. Furthermore, Democrats destroyed the judicial filibuster in 2013 to force through President Obama’s nominees. By attempting to block Neil Gorsuch in 2017, the Democrats left a wide-open role for the President.
Furthermore, the Democrats destroyed the filibuster through both actions. This makes it possible for President Trump to be able to name a successor– rather than requiring the 60 votes needed prior.
This is likely to have a major implication to happen next.
Amy Coney Barrett:
The first is Amy Coney Barrett, the 48-year-old member of the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals. Barrett is a Catholic, who was insulted by Democrats during her confirmation hearings in 2017. This resulted in the major takeaway of the hearings:
“The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern when you come to big issues that people have fought for years in this country,” Feinstein said to Barrett.
Barrett responded sharply: “It’s never appropriate for a judge to impose that judge’s personal convictions, whether they arise from faith or anywhere else, on the law.”
Up until this weekend, Barrett would have been considered the front runner. Furthermore, the odds of Barrett being named is high, considering that President Trump stated that he would name a woman to the Supreme Court. However, this is not a certainty, considering that he will try to get the 50 votes to get the nominee through the Senate.
Barbara Lagoa is a likely choice for the court herself. She was the first Latina to serve on the Florida state Supreme Court. Furthermore, her family is Cuban American. She would be the second Latino member of the Supreme Court after Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Lagoa previously went through a confirmation process last year. She was nominated to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals by President Trump.
She is 52 years old, making it likely that she could serve for decades on the court. By comparison, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was 60 when she first started on the Supreme Court. Many presidents recently have been naming younger and younger members to the court in order to get more time out of their lifetime appointments. Lagoa is a graduate of Columbia Law School who later served as a federal prosecutor and over a decade as a state judge. Governor Ron DeSantis chose her as a member of the Florida Supreme Court before she joined the 11th Circuit in 2019.
What Happens Next?
Most likely, President Trump will name one of these qualified candidates to the court in the next week. Then the Senate will hold hearings on their qualifications. Whether they make it to 50 votes is another topic entirely– and one that will dominate the media until the election, or beyond.