A spectacularly failed strategy from Justice Ginsburg
Everyone thought Hillary Clinton would easily win the White House in 2016, apparently including even Supreme Court associate justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. At age 85, she is one of the oldest serving justices behind Oliver Wendell Holmes, who retired just before his 91st birthday, and more recently John Paul Stevens; who retired in 2010 at age 90. Justice Ginsburg stated she wanted to serve five more years and rebuked calls for her to retire during the Obama administration, claiming that her replacement, someone who shares her opinions on women's issues, was not guaranteed by allowing Obama to nominate her successor. Perhaps Justice Ginsburg believed that Ms. Clinton would be better suited to nominate a clone of herself.
Sometimes, the best laid plans go awry. President Trump not only succeeded at having both of his Supreme Court nominees confirmed, but may get the opportunity to nominate a third conservative judge. Ironically, Justice Ginsburg is gravely ill and may never return to the bench; the Senate Judiciary chairmanship has changed hands; and if the Kavanaugh confirmation process was obscene and downright disgusting – as they say, you ain't seen nothing yet!
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nominated to the Supreme Court by Bill Clinton and took the oath of office in 1993. She was the second woman to serve on the highest court, following Sandra Day O'Connor. Ginsburg spent most of her legal career, before her Supreme Court appointment, advocating for women's rights and sex equality, issues she has ferociously championed. She was one of nine women in her Harvard Law School class, and she encountered employment difficulties upon graduation, believing that it was due to her sex. Her storied career is peppered with hundreds of legal cases of sex discrimination, and she's a staunch advocate for abortion.
She's also a cancer survivor, having recovered from colon cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009. She continued to work after her colon cancer surgery, not missing a day on the bench, and was absent only ten days after her pancreatic cancer surgery. Last November, she fell at work and broke three ribs. An upper body scan showed that Justice Ginsburg had cancerous nodules. She underwent a left lung lobectomy in December and is reported to be "recovering" at home. She has yet to return to the court and has canceled several speaking engagements through the end of January.
Concern for Justice Ginsburg's health reached ghoulish proportions when numerous supporters offered to donate their own organs. The concern for Justice Ginsburg returning to the bench is certainly justified. A slow-rising panic is fomenting; the liberal's worst nightmare may be weeks or even days away.
If Justice Ginsburg retires, unable to return to the Supreme Court, or dies, President Trump will no doubt nominate another constitutional conservative to replace her. If that happens, be prepared for all hell to break loose. While there's good reason to suspect that the Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee will attempt to hijack the proceedings again, not only does the Senate Judiciary committee remain in the hands of the Republican majority, but Senator Lindsey Graham is the new chairman. This is the same Senator Graham who delivered a righteous tirade over the obscene behavior of Judiciary Committee Democrats, the debacle instigated by Senator Dianne Feinstein, and the felonious grandstanding by Democrats (and protesters) in order to railroad the Kavanaugh hearing process. Senator Graham has most likely learned a thing or two since the Kavanaugh hearings, and perhaps he will take measures to ensure that the next round of Supreme Court justice hearings are held in a civil manner, without drama and minus the banshees.
For starters, there is no rule or law mandating that the hearings be open to the public, nor before television cameras. Senator Graham can easily quash the protesters by locking the doors. More importantly, the only role of the Senate committee is to advise and consent. That task doesn't require an audience. Most if not all of the preliminary questioning is completed on paper and prior to nominee appearing before the committee.
At this juncture, the Democrats are zero for three; they irrevocably tarnished their reputation during the Kavanaugh hearings and then failed to stop the confirmation. Justice Ginsburg's failure to resign at the most opportune time is another spectacular strategy failure and may ensure a conservative Supreme Court for decades to come.