Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away last Friday night, the first night of Rosh Hashanah 5781. In the aftermath of her death, the country is in an uproar that is so forceful it pushed the ongoing struggle with the pandemic to the sidelines.
Changes are always challenging to deal with, but I have to say, reluctantly, that in the aftermath of the death of Justice Ginsburg, Democratic pronouncements are downright alarming.
It is no longer just a matter of the preference for power and leadership, which is understandable. What we are witnessing today on the part of Democratic leadership is nothing less than a mad dash to enact extreme change for this country and to redefine America.
When you consider the items that are on the Democratic agenda, it can easily induce serious concern and even sadness for what might become of this great country should the Democrats achieve any success in November.
First of all, the current Supreme Court crisis is more the fault of Justice Ginsburg than anyone else.
Ruth Bader was born in Brooklyn and attended Madison High School on Bedford Avenue and Quentin Road. Her father was an immigrant from Odessa, Ukraine, and her mother was born here in New York. Her mother’s parents were immigrants from Krakow, Poland. While her family was not very observant, she often said her Jewish background made her sensitive to discrimination. Her family were members at the East Midwood Jewish Center on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn. She coauthored a book on women’s roles in the exodus from Egypt, and she had a framed photo on her office wall that read, from the Torah, “Tzedek, tzedek tirdof.”
She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009 at the age of 76, when Barack Obama was president. Justice Ginsberg could have retired at that time — or any time thereafter — and had a Democrat president appoint a replacement who shared her legal positions and philosophies. One of the main reasons Justice Ginsburg did not retire at the end of the Obama administration was because she was so certain that Hillary Clinton would win the presidency in 2016. It was a colossal miscalculation. During the 2016 campaign, Ginsburg commented about the possibility of Donald Trump winning the presidency by saying that if that happened, she would consider moving to New Zealand. She later apologized and said that those comments were “ill-advised.” Supreme Court justices, or any judges at any level, have no business inserting themselves into the electoral process.
According to news reports, she told her granddaughter prior to her death that she wanted her replacement selected by whoever is elected on November 3. Presumably, if she said that, she was assuming that Mr. Trump would not be reelected. That sentimental final request has no impact on the law or the ability for the president to go forward with a potential nominee and even Senate confirmation.
This evolving battle over selecting the next Supreme Court Justice seems to be yet another aspect of a magical presidency filled with an array of unprecedented events and experiences. On the downside is the ongoing national struggle with the coronavirus. On the upside is what many so-called foreign-policy experts thought was impossible for any president to accomplish — achieving peace between Israel and an array of Muslim countries in the Gulf.
Trump’s next great feat will be winning reelection on November 3. Democrats have long been counting on what they consider to be an aberrational presidency fading away after these four years. Part of that same magic, however, is that Democrats are strengthening the Trump campaign for reelection, the exact opposite of their intentions.
One of the most telling displays of Democrat intent was the appearance the other day of our senator, Chuck Schumer, not alongside his usual sidekick Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but instead with first-term congresswoman and one of the most visible agents of the radical left, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Bronx and Queens.
Our man Chuck, who has graced the dais of numerous Jewish organizations and yeshiva dinners, largely patronizing our community, is trying to lead the charge that reworks the direction of this country. Schumer might be salivating over the prospect of becoming Senate majority leader if Democrats managed to win the Senate on Election Day.
As Schumer perceives that his star is rising, for many of us that perceived star of his is descending. Not only has he been a disappointment time and again, but the person with whom he chose to hold a news conference the other day, Representative Ocasio-Cortez, will in all likelihood run against Mr. Schumer two years from now.
Schumer has been so wrong on so many things to the point that it is difficult to calculate. Recently, as President Trump continues to garner Arab signatures on peace agreements with Israel despite Palestinian obduracy, Schumer is still talking about a two-state solution — meaning a hostile Palestinian state, not just on Israel’s borders but directly within the Jewish state.
One of those new things that he is so terribly wrong about is the legal and proper way that vacancies on the Supreme Court are filled. The high court, as it is known, is about interpreting laws that flow from the Constitution, which is the blueprint and the guiding document that has been the bedrock of our democracy over all these years.
If the president is a conservative and if the Senate has a conservative bent, that is an expression of the will of the people. But, you say, that might not be the case on January 1 or on Inauguration Day, January 20. The response to that is that the president is obligated to deal with the here-and-now, not the maybes or what might be in the future, whether that is two years or two months from now.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the great jurist and daughter of Brooklyn, New York, served our country well. Her memory should be a blessing for this country and a tribute to a great life that was lived. Instead, Chuck Schumer and company have turned this into partisan political football. Talk about fumbling at the goal line.
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