Weglinski: Want to Uphold RBG’s Legacy? Vote Trump Out


Maya Fraser

Salt lake resident shows their support for Biden-Harris presidency on Thursday, October 29th, 2020. (Photo by Maya Fraser | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sonia Weglinski, Opinion Writer


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died recently at the age of 87. She was the second woman to ever hold a position in the high court, and she fought avidly for women’s rights and gender equality throughout her legal career. Not only did she fight against gender discrimination, but she was outspoken about LGBTQ+ and voter rights.

President Trump recently nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett as Ginsburg’s successor, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announcing that the Commander in Chief’s nominee “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.” This statement came just hours after RBG’s passing, despite her final words to her granddaughter: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

McConnell’s eagerness to fill the Supreme Court vacancy doesn’t align with his own precedent. During the 2016 election, he declined to hold Senate confirmation hearings for Obama’s nominee after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, arguing that they should wait for the next president to be elected. The Senate Majority Leader’s hypocrisy is laughable and unnerving in light of the statement he made four years ago: “The American people deserve a voice in such a momentous decision.” Now, under the Trump administration, McConnell no longer believes that We the People should have a say in the future of our government and our lives. With the election just a few weeks away, the stakes are higher than ever before. When we vote this year, we must honor the late justice’s wishes and continue her fight for the American people by voting Trump out of office.

Nicknamed “the Notorious RBG,” Justice Ginsburg was a liberal icon. In her time on the Supreme Court, she pushed for progressive reforms that helped marginalized communities across the nation. But if Judge Barrett is approved by the Senate this month, we’ll have a 6-3 right-wing run judiciary. This signals the likely reversal of Roe v. Wade and protections of LGTBQ+ rights, undoing the strides toward equality that Justice Ginsburg fought so diligently to preserve. And because Barrett is Catholic and unflinchingly conservative, Democrats are concerned that her religious views might impact her court decisions. “We need someone with deep civil rights experience and background if we are looking to fill the legacy of [Ginsburg’s] seat on the court.” said legal director of the National Women’s Law Center to NBC News. Appointing Barrett as a replacement would undermine Ginsburg’s legacy.

Further, it’s projected that the upcoming election could be a close race. If it ends up being a toss-up due to issues surrounding mail-in ballots, for example, then the decision will go to the Supreme Court. And with Trump stacking the court with conservatives, it’ll be no surprise if he wins the presidency. On top of that, the President has made clear that he does not plan to leave peacefully if he loses. This is not the first time the Commander-in-Chief has claimed he wouldn’t accept the election results. Back in 2016, Trump said the same thing regarding a potential Hillary Clinton win. This behavior is unacceptable from a president and a major threat to our democracy.

So what can we do? We can vote Trump out by a landslide. If we vote Biden by a substantial majority, then the decision won’t go to the Supreme Court. Electing Biden means electing more liberal Supreme Court Justices who will help us achieve the progressive reforms this country needs. Although Joe Biden wasn’t my first choice (or many others’), electing him is the first step in solidifying a future of reproductive justice, police reform, climate action, Medicare for all and so on. That said, Biden is not the finish line. As Congresswoman AOC stated in an Instagram live video responding to RBG’s death, “No one politician is the answer … voting for Joe Biden is not about whether you agree with him. It’s about our democracy living to see another day.” We can always vote for a more progressive candidate than Biden in 2024, but we can’t stop the polarization and the undoing of basic rights if Trump has a second term in office.

The most important thing we can do right now is show up in November. Register to vote and spread the word to your friends and family — let them know what’s on the line. Let’s honor Justice Ginsburg’s last wishes in the upcoming election and vote Trump out in a sweeping victory.


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