Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg missed oral arguments in two cases this due to illness, reigniting the conversation over how much longer she can stay on the bench.
Reports note that she had a “stomach bug” and so was “indisposed.” It is the second time Justice Ginsburg has missed oral arguments since she became a Supreme Court Justice more than twenty-five years ago.
Given the fact that the “Notorious RBG” is so passionate about her work, one would have to wonder how serious her illness really is. Her recent health scares and surgeries make it apparent that the 86-year old liberal icon isn’t a picture of perfect health. She broke three ribs in November 2018, had surgery for lung cancer in December 2018, and then had radiation therapy for pancreatic cancer in August 2019. Should she pass on or retire before the 2020 general election, President Trump and the GOP-controlled Senate would be able to name a replacement.
Justice Ginsburg’s health problems come at a very bad time for liberal voters. The Supreme Court wields an enormous amount of power, deciding on nation-altering cases such as legalizing gay marriage, allowing the Affordable Care Act to remain in place, permitting the murder of babies via abortion throughout all fifty states, and more. The recent list of cases pending before the court includes a case determining whether Title VII applies to gay and transgender people, a case involving recent moves by conservative states to limit easy access to abortion, and a case that would decide the fate of millions of DACA permit holders throughout the US.
While the cases heard on Wednesday were not life-altering for millions of Americans, the fact that Ginsburg is clearly experiencing health problems means that her health is declining, and she may not be able to cast a vote in cases that are being heard this year. Without her guaranteed left-leaning vote, the Supreme Court would have a definitive conservative slant for generations.
It’s almost impossible to imagine a Supreme Court without the presence of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Even those who do not agree with her far-left positions have to at least admire her persistence. But, no-one is immortal, and the recent news that Ms. Ginsburg was too ill to attend court proceedings should serve as a wake-up call to those who think President Donald Trump won’t be around to nominate a justice to fill the next vacancy.
With impeachment proceedings in place, and the Democratic White House hopeful field shrinking, Ginsburg’s health is likely to become a very serious election issue going forward.