If We Stayed True to the Constitution the Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Would Not Matter
The irony is that it should not matter. The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg should, of course, matter to her family and to all people who looked up to her as a pioneering woman. However, the response of “this is an utter calamity,” to the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is one of the clearest signs that we have lost our way as Americans. In this day and age where people believe the a-historical word salad of the 1619 Project, it is no surprise the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been met with cries of devastation. Many on the left are truly petrified President Donald Trump and the GOP held Senate are going to appoint a “conservative” (read: originalist) judge to the Supreme Court, but it should not matter. However, it does, and it will, only because Americans either never learned or completely forgot about basic American civics.
Pop quiz: how many branches are there in American government? Got it? Good. Yes, there are three. Three branches make up the American government: the Executive (President), the Legislative (Congress, with the Senate and House of Representatives), and finally, the Judicial (courts and judges, including the Supreme Court). The way the American government is supposed to work is that each branch works as a check and balance on the other two. When one branch gets too powerful, the other two are supposed to rein the other back in.
The quickest primer for how it is all supposed to work looks like this: the legislative branch (Congress) is supposed to create laws and send them to the executive (President) who signs off on the laws (or vetoes them), and then the judicial (the courts and judges) just kinda sits there and waits for issues and decides if the laws are constitutional when somebody brings them a problem. That is it. Welcome to America, please pick up your Old Glory pin as you leave the classroom.
The Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Reveals the Unfortunate Ascension of the All-Powerful Supreme Court
For a long time, this worked fine. Not gangbusters, but still adequately. In today’s climate, some people complain that the legislative branch does not do enough and that there is too much gridlock. However, those gripes fall flat when confronted with the fact that was pretty much what the founding fathers intended. They wanted a system that was difficult to change. The founding fathers believed the Constitution was made so well that the document would last in perpetuity with very few changes to its core. They knew some changes would have to be made, but that those changes would come from acts of Congress as propelled by the American voter.
Their theory was simple; Americans would vote for their representatives, their senators, and their President. All three of those would help create new laws when applicable because all three were always eventually beholden to voters. If they did not do their jobs in a suitable manner, they would be voted out in the next election. Notice, the executive, and the legislative branches are constantly beholden to the people. If you suck at your job, you can get kicked to the curb. Easy peasy lemon squeazy.
Not so when it comes to the judiciary, and specifically the Supreme Court. Supreme Court judges are appointed for life. You have never once in your life voted directly for a Supreme Court judge. In fact, nobody in the history of America has ever gone to a poll and voted “Supreme Court Nominee: Antonin Scalia or Ruth Bader Ginsburg (“fill-in one only”).
Because you do not vote for Supreme Court justices, the Supreme Court was never really supposed to have that much power. The founding fathers would NEVER have allowed a branch of government that wields outsized power, especially if that branch was not beholden to voters. In fact, the judiciary is supposed to be the least powerful of the branches specifically because the members are not voted upon and because it does not have either monetary power or military power.
Progressive and Conservative Alike Should be Honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg Instead of Wailing or Dancing on Her Grave
The irony for conservatives in 2020 is that this is one of the instances where Alexander Hamilton was eventually proven wrong. As everybody can now see in the hysterical responses to the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the judicial branch and the Supreme Court have outsized power. The Supreme Court is now a super-legislature; a position it was never supposed to have. The anti-federalist “Brutus” called it and pointed it out more than 200 years ago. He was wary of what the judicial branch would become while Hamilton was mostly certain it would be fine.
But, of course, it is not fine. Not by a long shot. If the United States government ran the way it was supposed to, we could all be joining together in a moment of true unity to honor a woman whose memory should indeed be a blessing. A ground-breaking Jewish woman who died on Rosh HaShanah. And it is quite fitting how Jewish custom dictates that anybody who dies on a holiday–especially a High Holiday–is righteous. Even though many would vehemently disagree with her judicial decisions, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s badassery in paving the way for women and shattering glass ceiling after glass ceiling is something we should all be able to honor.
This should be a moment devoid of partisan hackery. Instead, a grotesque amount of responses are more concerned with what her death means rather than merely the death of a true American patriot. However, because Americans no longer understand basic American civics, and because our governmental structure is so broken it only barely resembles its original intent, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a travesty for some and a windfall for others. That is disgusting. The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg should not matter to anybody except for close family and those who saw her as a role model and beacon of light. But it does matter. In fact, it matters so much it might be the tipping point in this current moment of American history. Nobody knows what the future holds, but it is obvious as many fret and others scheme in the wake of her death, that Americans have betrayed their past and the original intent of the founding fathers. ברוך דיין האמת.