Ruth Bader Ginsberg, former Supreme Court justice (1933–2020)

How the Death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg Will Shape the Upcoming Election

Since the unfortunate passing of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, there has been one thing on many peoples’ minds: how this will effect the future of the Supreme Court, and how this will effect the upcoming 2020 presidential election.

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg has the potential to rile up both bases of the Republican and Democratic parties respectively. according to the reporting done by NBCNEWS, “Trump supporters say the vacancy on the Supreme Court will draw out their base, while Democrats say it will intensify the importance of electing Joe Biden.”

However, since the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, according to the national polls on FiveThirtyEight, Biden has seen an uptick in support from +6.7 to +8.9 over President Trump. The gap has been steadily growing larger, which could imply that the Trump base is static and unmoving, while independent voters increasingly see the election of Biden as a necessary action to maintain a balanced Supreme Court.

Presidential Candidate Joe Biden is in no rush to fill the seat just yet, he believes that the voters should make the decision, according to Foreign Policy, “The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider,” he said.

In contrast, President Trump is eager to fill the seat as quickly as possible due to the uncertainty of a second term in office. Just eight days after Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death, Trump nominated Amy Coney Barret for the Supreme Court. According to Barret herself, and the reporting of CNN, “The President has the power to nominate, and the senate has the power to act or not, and I don’t think either one of them can claim there is a rule governing one way or the other.” she said.

This nomination of a new Supreme Court justice is important for so many people because of the vast implications it could have on the reproductive rights of women. The absent seat of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who was a champion of women’s rights, has the potential to be filled by a much more conservative Amy Coney Barret. This could potentially lead to the overturning of the longstanding decision on Roe v. Wade. According to the reporting done by The Guardian, “This time, in the judgment of activists on both sides of the abortion issue, a vote in favor [of the nomination of Barret] would clearly be a vote in favor of overturning Roe.”

This partisan issue of legal abortion could be a major deciding factor for voters, and has the potential to skew the the election further towards the side of the Democrat Party. According to the analysis done by the Pew Research Center, “Seven-in-ten say they do not want the Supreme Court to completely overturn its Roe v. Wade decision, compared with 28% who want to see the decision completely overturned.”

Regardless of your stance on legal abortion, or your political affiliation, there is nothing more important to our democratic process than voting. The deadline to register to vote in Texas has passed, but if you are in the Houston area you can go to harrisvotes.com to find early voting and poll locations. Early voting in Texas begins on October 13th through the 30th. You can vote by mail, vote early, or vote on election day. The important thing is to VOTE.

I’m a native Houstonian, and and Journalism student at the University of Houston.

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