Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Died

She had a remarkable career as a lawyer, professor, circuit court judge, and Supreme Court Justice.


I always very much respected her and her work, even if I disagreed with her; and I know many among our readers have as well. Our own David Post clerked for her (both on the D.C. Circuit and on the Supreme Court), so I wanted to publicly pass along my condolences to him, and to the many other professors and lawyers who knew her personally.

I'm sure there will be lots of speculation about how her death may affect the Court, the election, and more. And it is hardly news to me that there are those who disagreed with her views on various topics so sharply that they might have little good to say about her (or for that matter those who are so concerned about President Trump appointing her replacement that that issue is the one thing on their minds). But for this post, and, I hope, for its comments, I thought it would be good to take a moment to focus on our appreciation of the woman—a titan of our profession—and a recognition of her remarkable life.

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  1. We will now see Republican hypocrisy on full display.

    1. We will, finally, after a few centuries in waiting, see justice for all.

      “But of course the Justices in today’s majority are not voting on that basis; they say they are not. And to allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation.”

    2. After a lifetime of seeing Democrat hypocrisy, it’s about time.

    3. Is it hypocrisy for me to say that I respected and admired RBG both as a person and a legal giant despite disagreeing with many of her decisions?

      It’s is a little humorous (or maybe pathetic?) though that the first post on a law blog about a liberal legal legend is some flavor of “Republicans pounce…” I apologise for myself and all conservatives for living rent free in your head, especially at a solemn occasion like RBG’s passing.

      1. Not at all. You can admire a person, but disagree with some of the decisions they made.

    4. If team blue had a majority in Congress and refused to move on orangemanbad’s scotus pick, one suspects you would be quite pleased.

  2. I didn’t like her politics, but may she Rest in Peace.

    1. Agreed; I thought she should have retired a couple years back, hanging onto her position even after she wasn’t really capable of doing the work was not good.

      But I feel sorry about her death. I hope she repented at the last.

      1. Indeed! I hated the things that she stood for — not her as a person. I pray for mercy.

      2. She had a lot less to “repent” for than you do, Brett.

    2. Agreed.

    3. Agreed, Darth

  3. Well, this is certainly an interesting year.

    Politics of the court was bad before this, now … who knows. I keep expecting things to calm down. Silly me.

    I’m in Jersey, anyone want to grab a beer and forget this whole year ever happened?

  4. Also, obligatory, rest in peace.

  5. I am sure the Senate Republicans will respect the “Biden Rule” they invoked about 10,000 times in 2016.

    1. Yah know, from reading the comments, it seems all the people are the left are complaining about politics and on the right they are expressing condolences, even if they add some addendum with a personal opinion.

      True colors I guess.

      1. Or they remember what the same people were saying when RBG was alive.

        1. Courtesy costs nothing. So, true colors is a reasonable observation. Even if the right didn’t agree with her stances, they by and large didn’t wish ill of her. I say by and large, as I know some did, and that in some heated comments, offhand and crude things were said.

    2. You mean the rule that states Presidents should not expect to fill Supreme court vacancies in election years when the opposing party controls the Senate? I’m sure they will.

      1. When did Biden say “when the opposing party controls the Senate?”

        (That’s in addition to all the other ways that what Biden said in 1992 was neither what McConnell did in 2016 nor a “rule.”)

        1. Biden laid claim to the “tradition of the Senate” citing instances back to the 1850s, which McConnell correctly pointed out had been to not confirm a nominee if the Senate was held by the opposition, but vote if allied with the White House.
          Despite Biden’s claim, there isn’t much evidence of any such “tradition”, but McConnell’s behavior matches history better:

          Taft – In 1912, nominated Pitney, was confirmed by Republican Senate
          Wilson – In 1916, nominated Brandeis and Clarke, both confirmed by Democrat Senate
          Hoover – 1932, nominated Cardozo, confirmed by Rs
          FDR – 1940, nominated Murphy, confirmed by Ds
          Eisenhower – 1956, appointed Brennan

          The far more fitting explanation is that the Senate has acted according to its party goals, no matter what year it is, and anyone’s posturing otherwise is… politicians being politicians.

          1. Biden is well known for simply making from whole cloth ‘rules,’ situations, people in order to benefit, Biden. A good rule of thumb is, if he says it is true, it is not.

            1. Is this some implausible attempt to equate Biden with Trump? Or are you full blown unhinged and believe Biden is even more dishonest than Trump?

    3. If the GOP fills this Vacancy before the election and if the Dems then win a wave election winning the presidency and a large enough majority in the Senate (over 52 seats), then I think the Dems will throw out the filibuster and one of the first laws they pass will be to pack the Supreme Court with 4 or 6 new Justices. This will trigger a backlash, but the Dems may hope to contain it by admitting DC (or parts of it) as a new state as well as Puerto Rico.
      They have to lock in their control for once and all. They can never let the GOP gain control of the presidency, the house, and the Senate ever again because the GOP would be able to repeal any laws they don’t like (and pack the Supreme Court even more).

      1. Can’t see why they’d need 52. I don’t imagine Manchin would be a vote for a SCOTUS-packing scheme, but I don’t see any other D Senators baulking at it. Sinema’s a smart chameleon, but under the skin she’s no moderate.

      2. I’m not sure why you’d think Court packing hinges on Trump filling the vacancy. Even if it were left to Harris to fill, that would only get the Democrats back up to 4 seats, not a majority.

        Court packing is pretty much inevitable the next time they control both houses of Congress and the White house. Only the excuse for it is up in the air.

        1. Not everyone acts in bad faith like Donald Trump’s GOP.

  6. RIP.

    Shit’s about to get real.

    1. I wonder. Trump does not need a distraction during the home stretch of his campaign. He may choose to defer action for a while.

      1. Not a chance. SCOTUS appointments are rare. You take them when you get them.

      2. Feh, the Republicans played that, “Let’s keep the issue through the election instead of delivering on what we promised” game for decades, and all it got them was ever declining loyalty from their voting base.

        The best thing Trump can do is nominate somebody after a respectful wait. Maybe Monday. Then it’s in McConnell’s court, and he has to decide whether to schedule a vote or be hated (even more) by the party’s base.

        1. McConnell doesn’t want to rush someone through confirmation if it costs him the Majority Leader job. So it comes down to, how sure is Mitch that the D’s aren’t going to take the Senate this November?

          1. Why would it cost him his job?

          2. Mcconnell has already promised a vote. Its laughable that that would hurt him in Kentucky.

            1. Nobody thinks it will hurt him in Kentucky. The issue is whether it will hurt Collins or Gardner or Tillis or even Lindsay Graham.

              1. The only way it hurts Graham here in SC is if he were to vote against confirmation. And this close to the election, I think he’s a safe vote. If they scheduled it for a lame duck session, that would change.

                1. I doubt Graham loses either way, but I’d be surprised if he wants to roll the dice on what happens if the airwaves are suddenly saturated with that video of him saying I won’t vote and if I do hold me accountable, and then he votes anyway.

      3. I would think Trump would want the seat filled with his appointee ASAP in case the election ends up hinging on SCOTUS cases.

        Also, if he waits and loses, cramming a nominee through as a lame duck might not even be palatable to a number of Republican Senators so he might lose the chance.

        1. That’s another point. The Democrats seem like they’re angling to tie the election up in the courts potentially plunging the country into a constitutional crisis.

        2. Mitch might not be in a big hurry to fill the seat, since rushing to fill the seat with a Trump appointee could cost the R’s control of the Senate. Does Mitch want a Trump appointee on the bench so much he’ll push himself into the Minority Leader office?
          Combine that with his natural inclination to inaction, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the seat is still vacant on election day. Not sure what happens in the lame duck session. Depends, I guess, on how the returns come in.

          1. Note: If the R’s can’t hold the Senate, there’s a good possibility that if Biden wins he’ll be replacing Kavanagh. Would the House impeach Justice K? I bet they’d think about it…

            1. You need 2/3 of the Senate to remove a supreme court justice. Surely your wild fantasy doesn’t extend as far as the Dems picking up about 20 seats?

            2. That’s going to go poorly. I assume you think the sex crime accusation (of which the accuser could not name time or place, and nobody she listed confirmed her story), the boofing/perjury charge, and ‘judicial temperment’ as grounds for impeachment? They barely held water the first time, and Blasey-Ford won’t hold up under rigorous questioning if the spotlight is placed on her again.

      4. Lol, Trump has nothing to do with this. Furthermore, Kavanaugh is a justice because Bush called Collins and urged her to support him…Trump is irrelevant.

        1. Kavanagh is a Justice because there’s no point impeaching him with R’s controlling the Senate.

      5. How many President’s have had the chance to make three appointments?

        1. Biden will get to make 4 appointments…when he packs the court.

          1. Nah, the talk is they’d enlarge it by at least 6, to be sure of getting a reliable rubber stamp. That way they could win votes even if they lost one of the surviving Democratic justices.

      6. Trump does not need a distraction during the home stretch of his campaign.

        Trump desperately needs a distraction during the home stretch of his campaign.

  7. I appreciate that she was so talented, and so committed to *some* civil liberties.

  8. The progressives are letting out a loud reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! right about now.

    Isn’t this perfect timing for Trump?

    He has to put someone in there that’s a proven conservative because Roberts is clearly a wild card.

    1. Well and as I just said that is exactly how we got to this stage and it will get worse. The Supreme Court has to be impartial and non-partisan. By openly and stacking it to create a conservative court rather than a neutral finder of fact where every American can feel confident of getting a fair and non-partisan decision, conservatives have brought the whole system down. The curtain has been pulled back to expose the tiny little man at the controls ala Wizard of Oz.
      The people all the way down to the last man, woman, and child now know that the system is no longer fair or just and it hasn’t been since the 1950s. That is why no one is listening to conservative’s “Rule of LAW” rhetoric anymore, why the 18 year old suburban white kids are engaged in full blown urban warfare with the police and why no one is doing much to stop them. Those of us who truly believe in Thomas Jefferson’s views of individual freedom and the checks and balances that kept government in it’s place and out of the people’s medicine cabinets and bedrooms CAN’T follow a government this reckless and unabashedly opposed to the “liberty and justice for ALL”
      Trump and the GOP can go ahead and finish it. The damage is already done. No one believes in the government, the police, or the judges anymore. Creating a partisan one sided court is not fair or just. A conservative court fails its primary obligation to the people so it loses all legitimacy and authority and the law becomes he who wields the most brute force wins. Congratulations.

      1. Yes. I was speaking strictly from a RNC political calculus.

        It would be nice non-partisan. Swinging the other way can be problematic as well.

        The fight and obsession for appointees is brutal because the judiciary became so key in issues facing the country. It shouldn’t come down to SCOTUS.

      2. “The Supreme Court has to be impartial and non-partisan.”

        It clearly is not.

  9. Folks: A woman has died — a woman of great accomplishments, and one who served her country for many decades in the way that she thought was right (whether or not we can agree with her). Perhaps we might aspire to say something about it in our comments.

    1. How many statues of people that were of great accomplishment and did what they thought was right have been desecrated and/or torn down in the last 3 months?

      1. Irrelevant. Be better than them.

        1. Be a good person? On the internet?
          It’s less likely than you think.

        2. I already have been my friend … I am just pointing the huge donkey in the room (it cannot be ignored.)

        3. “The villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.”

      2. I do not consider the traitors, losers, and bigots of the Confederacy to have been people of great accomplishment, or admirable character, or anything else positive. To mention those jerks in the context of Justice Ginsburg is deplorable.

        If you didn’t want these comments, Prof. Volokh, you shouldn’t have cultivated your group of followers.

        1. Au contraire Rev — your Democrat confederate fore-bearers provided a path that ironically your current Democrats follow even after all these years — from a “necessary evil” to a proper, positive good, the evolution of the defense of abortion treads a well worn and bloody path.

        2. Cultivated. Followers. You need to break out of that in-group, it seems to be detrimental to your health.

    2. Its been pretty polite so far. Do you want us to talk specifics about her career?

      Ok I’ll take a shot. Its ironic that letting her ideology get in front of practicality was her ultimate downfall (in terms of her life goals and legacy) ie she delayed retirement so that she could have Hillary appoint her successor. But IMO letting ideology get in front of everything else defines her career unfortunately.

      FWIW I would have far rather Ginsburg come over to a more sensible position rather than having to wait her out. I hold no malice. RIP

    3. Well said professor. It’s disappointing to see the tenor of comments on this site.

      For the record, various arch-conservative commenters, saying that you hope “god has mercy” on RBG for her anti-conservative apostasy is not classy or any better than the people openly crowing that now Trump gets to pick a replacement. Y’all are gross and bad. If you want people to honor the inevitable deaths of those who you honor or value you should be better.

      1. Somebody go back to the archives and retrieve the posts about Scalia’s death since I don’t have a subscription to WAPO. I doubt its much more polite than the responses to this posts. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

        I’m not a big subscriber to the idea of lionizing the dead no matter what at any rate.

        1. Here’s Biden’s response to Scalia’s death, which is very gracious, similar to Eugene’s response to Ginsburg’s death, and nothing like the posts. https://www.nytimes.com/live/supreme-court-justice-antonin-scalia-dies-at-79/biden-says-scalia-was-one-of-our-most-influential-justices/ Trump, by contrast, attacked Obama for not attending the funeral (Biden was there, representing the administration), and asked whether Obama would have attended if it had been held in a mosque.

      2. I fail to see which comments have sounded alarm bells.

        Who’s crowing?

        She had an iconic career. Who cares she had liberal values?

      3. It’s not a matter of ‘anti-conservative apostasy’, (As she was never a conservative, how could she be an apostate from conservatism?) but rather her defense of abortion. It isn’t just conservatives who find abortion horrifying, or religious believers.

        1. ” It isn’t just conservatives who find abortion horrifying, or religious believers.”

          But it IS just the conservatives who think that horrifying decision should be made by the government, not the person currently carrying an unwanted fetus.

          count the number of “pro-life” politicians who have come forward to complain that being required to wear a mask in public is an intolerable infringement on personal liberty but being required to carry a fetus to term is not.

          1. You mean “care for a human life”?

          2. Don’t black fetus’ lives matter to you James?

      4. The ‘arch-conservatives’ haven’t been commenting. Expression of ideas you dislike does not make a commenter conservative; this tactic is used by left and progressive types, regardless of claims of being centrist.

    4. No.

      Republicans will not respect her memory. They will continue to disrespect their obligations under the Constitution.

      Their kind “condolences” are as false as a three dollar bill.

      So no. I’m not on board with this bulls**t “respect”.

      1. How will you react to, say, the death of Clarence Thomas? Take the beam out of your own eye.

        1. I’ll say the exact same thing. I’ve met justice Thomas and will be quite sad when he passes. I disagree with his reading of the constitution and most of his opinions (far from all though), but that doesn’t change the fact that I won’t be small minded and nakedly partisan when he dies. Your speculation about future liberal hypocrisy is not a beam in anyone’s eye

          1. The majority of conservative comments specifically about Ginsburg here are polite. The majority of liberal comments are complaining about phantom rudeness. What exactly are you mad about? Its far better than what you’d see on twitter.

            1. “Its far better than what you’d see on twitter.”
              Or what those conservative commenters here were saying about Justice Ginsberg when she was alive and still writing opinions they disagreed with. (Hint: Not at all polite).

              1. I hope you see the distinction between criticizing someone when they are alive and able to respond and dancing on their grave while the body is still warm.

                RBG was perfectly capable of defending herself while alive and always gave as well as she could take.

                The only mild criticism of her that I would venture now is that she should have retired years ago, but stayed on for political reasons.

              2. When people are alive all is fair in political commentary. Get real.

        2. Clarence Thomas was a cheap little Oreo.

          Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a brave trailblazer.

          1. The racism is always just below the surface

            1. Nope. It quite often breaks the surface.

          2. You are a racist, go figure. And, again you don’t have any substantial argument, but parrot in-group biases and ‘knowledge.’ Thomas was a trailblazer having survived Biden and Anita Hill, in the first televised partisan smear based on false accusation. Bader Ginsberg was a judicial activist, who did what she thought right.

      2. If I may inquire, how did you respond to the death of Scalia?

        And for God’s sake, could we stop with painting all Republicans or all Democrats or all Libertarians with the same brush? The same goes for some of the conservative members who post here. If you are so into politics that you still do this you need a job or hobby. Or a friend.

        1. “If I may inquire, how did you respond to the death of Scalia? ”

          Not with a suggestion that they clear his environment for Novichok contamination, although in retrospect, that might have been a good idea.

      3. How do you know if they’re sincere or not? How do we know this of anyone on the Internet? We can’t look anyone in the eye!

      4. Would you mind recalling and going over all of your Merrick Garland arguments today?

    5. Agreed. I want her to be replaced by a conservative. I disagreed with many of her opinions. I wish that she had lived until mid-January 2021 (or that she had retired in June 2020). I font think she would have wanted the horrible fight that is coming if Trump makes a quick nomination and the Senate votes on it.

      1. Justice Ginsburg was often compared to Thurgood Marshall as a trailblazer. If her eventual successor is unfit to carry her briefcase, that will be a final parallel linking Ginsburg and Marshall.

  10. I thought she was doing great, still healthy and still working. Does the government EVER tell us the d**n truth about anything? She was an amazing woman and a real role model for girls and women. The Supreme Court had already lost legitimacy the instant the Republicans made it partisan. She was one of the originals that knew what integrity meant and how vital the Supreme Court’s integrity was to its ability to maintain its authority. It seems unfair that she did not get to enjoy some well deserved rest and relaxation.

    I fear for America, as there are not many left in Washington feel any particular need to do the right thing for the sake of the nation. The attacks on police are exactly what happens when the public loses its respect for authority. That respect for authority was not lost because the people are immoral and lawless, it was lost because the government proved itself to be immoral and lawless and it is ridiculous to think Joe Q. Public is going to obey the laws made by a government and a justice system that flaunts breaking the law.

    1. “it is ridiculous to think Joe Q. Public is going to obey the laws made by a government and a justice system that flaunts breaking the law.”

      that’s when the President sends out his stormtroopers in their indistinct uniforms and their unmarked cars to start grabbing critics off the street.

  11. I pray that God may have mercy on Ginsburg’s soul.

    Ooh … it’s about to get REAL!!!!!!!

  12. It’s a sad day.

    Maybe we’ll get a compromise pick. Mitt Romney, perhaps?

    1. Why? Trump has the Senate and owes the Democrats nothing.

      1. He does have to satisfy the soft Republicans like Collins and Murkowski.

        1. You’re on to something. They’re the Achilles heel that could totally derail this whole thing. The Democrats could be putting together gifts of glittering mansions and luxury yachts and a chance to go down in the Annals of Prog history to wave in front of their faces right now.

        2. Romney, Collins, and Murkowski will probably vote to delay, but if there is a 50/50 tie then doesn’t Pence get to vote to break the tie?

          1. Don’t forget Arizona, clingers. The special election seems likely to arrange installation of a Democratic senator during November.

            1. Kirkland, has it not hit you that you are the only one bitterly clinging to anything here?

      2. Because working together is better than driving people apart.

        1. Do you think the Democrats would be sitting on the nomination if they had control?

          1. To be fair, the Republicans wouldn’t be AS up in arms about rushing it, since they’d nominate a liberal to replace a liberal.

            Oh, they’d BITCH, but it’d be comparatively restrained.

          2. No, they wouldn’t.

            But offering a chance for compromise and working together is a good thing. If the chance is shot down, well…

          3. of course not.
            It cases like this it is always about power politics and that just means counting the votes.

      3. “Trump has the Senate”

        Not so fast there. MITCH has the Senate. Does Trump have Mitch?

    2. I don’t believe you for a minute.
      For you it’s a happy, happy day.

      1. Not really. I do think it was sad that she passed away.

        Do you think it was sad she passed away? Or just sad she passed away at this particular moment?

  13. The seat will be open for a while, thanks to the McConnell Rule. The one where Presidents aren’t allowed to name Supreme Court Justices during the last 6 months of their term of office.

    1. I think you are referring to the BIDEN rule, and that’s when the senate is of the opposing party.

      1. Citation needed.

          1. 1. Biden only said Bush should “consider” delaying any nomination.
            2. The delay he suggested was until after the election, not inauguration.
            3. Though the Senate was Democratic and the president Republican, Biden never said anything about divided government being part of the principle he was discussing.
            3. At the time he suggested it there was no vacancy, so he was only speaking hypothetically.
            4. Since the vacancy never arose, we’ll never know what Bush would have done or how Biden would have reacted to it. IOW, not only was it only hypothetical, it was only even a hypothetical negotiating position. The idea that it’s now called a “rule” is risible.
            Other than that, cool story.

  14. Folks: A woman has died — a woman of great accomplishments, and one who served her country for many decades in the way that she thought was right (whether or not we can agree with her). Perhaps we might aspire to say something about it in our comments.

    Mitch McConnell just said some nice things about her – right before he promised to vote on Trump’s nominee to replace her.

    The make-up of the Supreme Court should not depend on the vagaries of illness.

    She was a great American.

    1. She was a great American. Not in the way that most of the people here can recognize.

      1. Her ideas and ideals will prevail. The culture war has been settled. Her preferences deserve to continue to shape American progress. America’s better elements win over time.

        1. Indeed. That’s why comments that don’t meet community standards are removed, clinger.

  15. Why wasn’t her dying wish more specific?? Like she should have wished for a specific person to be appointed in her place.

    1. My bad, her dying wish was to be replaced when a “new president was installed”…so if Trump were to win then she shouldn’t be replaced until January 2025.

      1. At least the Democrats can bag one Biden mail-in vote now.

  16. The Washington Post didn’t wait …

    “McConnell says Trump’s court nominee will get Senate vote despite Ginsburg’s dying wish that next president choose replacement.”


    1. The Senate isn’t the House, Republican senators don’t have to go along with McConnell. So 4 Republican senators can delay this vote until next year.

      1. Indeed … Murkowski, Collins and I suspect that weasel Romney have already folded — who knows? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      2. It’s an election year. Republican senators will not want an open Supreme Court seat to motivate Democratic voters.

        1. 2016???

          1. Different circumstances.

            2016 had a sitting Democratic President, so there was no way for the Republican Senate to get a favorable Supreme Court pick. Republicans had a 4-seat Senate majority and control was never in doubt.

            2020 has a sitting Republican President, so the Republican Senate can get a favorable Supreme Court pick. Republicans only has a 2-seat Senate majority and might well lose the Senate in 2021.

    2. It’s funny seeing the sides assembling to take the exact opposite position they did in 2016

      1. “For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretences… right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”

      2. How so ? Each side looks like it’s taking exactly the same side as in 2016.

        We want our guy / gal seated, and we want your guy / gal not to be seated.

      3. Actually Democrats are taking the same side. It’s Republicans who have suspiciously switched sides.

  17. It’s a shame her legacy caught got up in the culture war (s).

    What’s the etiquette whenever a justice passes? Does a President wait a day? A week? What’s the tradition? If there is one.

    1. Obama waited 32 days with Scalia and Garland.

      1. An adult respectful tradition which unfortunately means nothing to Trump and today’s Republican Party.

    2. Wait until Yom Kippur is over

  18. A fitting — and brief! — tribute. It would be a very good thing if right now — and particularly at the new year — we might put aside the political realm and consider the legacy of a life dedicated to the law and to justice. Pause for a day, perhaps two, to consider what is really important.

    1. No, Republicans won’t do that. Thanks for thinking it though.

  19. There was some discussion following the Garland nomination (and pretty much constantly ever since) about the correct construction of this chunk of Article II :

    …and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court…

    and in particular whether this imposed any Constitutional obligation on the Senate to at least consider a nominee. Obviously the correct interpretation, in plain English, is that it does not. The Senate’s advice and consent to a nomination is a condition that is required to be met before the President can exercise his appointment power. It is not a duty which the Senate is obliged to perform unless it chooses to do so.

    But interestingly there’s another bit in there “…he shall nominate…” which looks like the President does have an actual Constitutional obligation to nominate. Unlike the recent Florida Supreme Court case, there is no time limit. And there’s no one with any standing to sue, so it’s not enforceable.

    But I’m wondering if it might not be nudging towards yet another impeachable offense by Trump if he flagrantly disregarded this Constitutional obligation and failed to make a nomination within a reasonable time ?

    1. Theres zero Constitutional obligation for McConnell to have rushed Garland in 2016 or to wait for the 2020 election. Its all smoke and mirrors roadblocks the Dems conjured up and would never respect if the positions were switched both times.

      1. The Constitution was written with the assumption that it would be put into effect by adults. Too great an assumption for you I suppose.

        1. Actually cap, you got the sign wrong.
          The Constitution was written with the foibles of humans clearly in mind.

          1. If everyone mentioned in the Constitution did only what it required, and nothing more, the federal government that it set up would be paralyzed on day one. It requires the people involved to act responsibly, and (for example) the Senate to help fill vacancies. Republicans are no longer on board with that.

    2. The Senate did advise and consent. The Senate advised Obama that they do not consent.

      The Constitution is silent on how that advice and consent is given.

  20. I almost walked into her in the hallway one day as I burst out of class. She was even tinier than expected. I was starstruck. She kindly gave a talk at my law school that day.

  21. President Trump’s live reaction as a campaign rallly ends and a journalist tells him what happened.


  22. Good riddance to this this disgusting, evil, traitorous woman. She has spent the last 50 years advocating for policies that would and will destroy America. In her mind, she was doing God’s work, and that’s how she justified overriding the will of the people time and time again. Only fitting that she croaked on Rosh Hashanah. Now may her body be wrapped in pork fat before she is lowered into the bowels of hell.

    1. About the usual sensibility around here, at this privileged, all-male blog.

      1. And what is this about “pork fat”? Is there an attitude about a certain religious group that you’d like to share with us?

      2. You’re here, what’s your excuse? And, that comment is beyond the pale. It has nothing to do with sex, or ‘privilege.’ It’s just shitty.

    2. Billsten,

      Fuck off asshole

  23. Dementia Joe couldn’t even make a statement tonight without a crib sheet.

    And he would look down and come up with basic shit like her name.

    1. Perhaps he is focusing on preparing a list of two or four names, as he should be.

  24. Some of that Democrat good will:

    “If they even TRY to replace RBG we burn the entire fucking thing down.”


  25. I wish that she had lived until after January 2021. I dread the ugly fight that is going to happen.

    1. I welcome the next few years of American progress.

      Being on the right side of history, and the winning side of the culture war, has its benefits.

  26. I mourn the passing of a legal giant. She had an indisputably brilliant mind, as did her recently deceased friend Scalia, and it is a shame to have lost another who, whatever you thought of their legal philosophy, you had to respect their passion for the law and their brilliant writing. As David Post’s eloquent remembrance evidences, she was not just a brilliant jurist, but a special woman who touched many lives. The hole she leaves is a large one. Condolences to all who knew her and to those who didn’t but loved her anyway.

  27. Sorry for double posting, but it keeps coming up, so:

    1. Biden only suggested Bush “consider” delaying a nomination, should a vacancy arise.

    2. The delay he suggested was until after the election, not inauguration.

    3. Though the Senate did happen to be Democratic and the president Republican, Biden said nothing about divided government being part of the principle he was discussing.

    4. At the time he suggested it there was no vacancy, so he was speaking hypothetically.

    5. As the vacancy never arose, we’ll never know what Bush would have done nor how Biden would have responded. IOW, not only was Biden’s statement only hypothetical, it was only even hypothetically a negotiating position. The idea that it’s now called a “rule” is risible.

  28. May RGB rest in peace, Xanthippe termagant to the Court.

  29. Apropos of nothing I remembered that I was on duty the evening that Thurgood Marshall died. It was during the Clarence Thomas hearings that I began my political migration towards the right. It was then that it became abundantly clear that the Democrat party had NOT changed and it was still the racist party, mouthing empty platitudes of equality. The sprouts of the current poisonous identity politics was always right there to be seen.

  30. She was infinitely stronger in the human being department. I still to this day do not believe I could even begin to tolerate losing a spouse to alzheimers or similar mental deterioration. And not to be recognized during visits or to know they have someone new romantically – even though you are still married. I know there’s nothing I would be able to do in that situation other than be happy for them but.. I don’t know that I could go on doing simple work let alone huge cases with that gnawing at me. Couple that with her ability to be best of friends with someone she really didn’t agree with professionaly and I feel that while she was quite the justice, she was an even more exemplary human being.

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