Honoring her honor

A tribute to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and a look forward

Carly Snyder

While walking around campus, it is a common occurrence to stroll past a VMI student. Although these cadets were once only men, women were admitted starting in 1996 as a result of the landmark case United States v. Virginia. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (lovingly known as RBG), a Supreme Court Justice who ruled in favor of female admission into VMI, is a long-time champion of women’s rights and a legal mind for the ages.

 I could write thousands of words regarding RBG’s successes as only the second female justice, and I encourage you to learn more about her story. But what’s more important is honoring her — both in terms of her legacy and how our nation ought to go about placing a new justice on the court.

Several Senate Republicans urged President Donald Trump to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. If confirmed and appointed, Barrett would make history as the youngest standing Supreme Court Justice; however, is this in RBG’s honor?

While RBG may favor the idea of appointing a woman to the courts, appointing a justice before the election goes directly against the trailblazer’s last dying wish — and the precedent the Republican Party set in 2016.

Following the death of conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia during the last year of Barack Obama’s presidency, Republicans set a precedent. Because the death happened only nine months before the general election, Republicans decided to let America decide the fate of the courts. This decision translated to allowing the elected president, in that case Trump, to choose who filled the seat — which placed Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.

RBG passed away just shy of two months before the general election, yet Republicans who were so adamant about “letting America decide” are now advocating for an expedited nomination process. Even scarier than the Republican majority in the Senate, which practically guarantees the approval of RBG’s replacement, is the value the party places on hypocrisy over honor.

Not only does going through with the nomination process directly violate RBG’s dying wish of “not being replaced until a new president is installed” — it also threatens her legacy. As a pioneer in women’s rights, RBG would not want to her successor to be an individual who doesn’t support a woman’s autonomy over her body or one who has made it easier for students accused of sexual assault to challenge their accusor.

Amy Coney Barrett herself is al-most as hypocritical as the Republican Party, as she takes the power RBG fought for her to have — and uses it to dismantle women’s rights and security.

Despite RBG’s dying wish and our nation’s cries for equality, Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump and Lindsay Graham refuse to hear us over the sounds of their own hypocrisy.