Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s cancer is back

This past week, we learned that Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the 87-year-old Supreme Court justice, had been hospitalized and released for an unspecified infection. As always, Court watchers wondered if that was the whole story, and they were right to wonder. On Friday, Ginsburg announced that her cancer has returned, attacking her liver. Despite this health problem, Ginsburg intends to continue to serve on the Supreme Court, ensuring that the Supreme Court will again be a potent election issue.

Ginsburg is one of the most reliably leftist justices on the Supreme Court. She’s so far to the left that, despite swearing to uphold the United States Constitution, she doesn’t believe in it. She thinks those timeless principles of individual liberty are just too “old.” Her preference would be for a statist document that, rather than identifying unalienable rights, instead is a laundry-list of vast government powers. For this reason, Ginsburg is the leftists’ darling. She is the subject of adoring books (especially books targeted at little girls) and even several toy dolls.

As well as being a leftist, Ginsburg is one seriously tough old lady. Before today’s announcement about her current bout of cancer, Ginsburg has been treated for colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, coronary artery disease, broken ribs, and cancerous nodules in her lung. Through all these serious illnesses, she’s missed only one oral argument in her 27 years on the court.

In her press release, Ginsburg admitted to having started chemotherapy yet again in mid-May, after immunotherapy failed, as well as suffering from gall stones and an infection. The chemo is working, though, because her liver lesions are shrinking. For the time being, she feels capable of continuing on the Supreme Court and has no intention of leaving:

It's ghoulish to speculate about the health of an elderly cancer patient, but the Supreme Court has acquired disproportionate power over the last seventy years, making speculation inevitable. The Court no longer functions as a constitutional guardian. Instead, it too often acts as a third legislative branch and a reliably leftist one at that. Ginsburg has been a leader in this development.

If Ginsburg were to decide that sitting on the Court is deleterious to her health and retire soon, Trump would still have a chance to get one more conservative justice on the Court before the election. Sen. Mitch McConnell has stated that he will do what it takes to get another conservative on the Supreme Court while Trump is still perched firmly in the White House. That is why Ginsburg refuses to step down.

Should McConnell get another conservative justice on the bench, doing so would (one hopes) put an end to judicial activism. It could rein in Justice Gorsuch’s rigid-to-the-point-of-stupidity textualism. It might also constrain Justice Roberts, who is usually conservative on the little stuff but is reliably leftist on the big stuff. Whether this is because of hatred for Trump, blackmail, or something else is irrelevant. It’s enough to know that he is unwilling to protect Americans’ constitutional rights.

As it is, though, with Ginsburg’s announcement, it’s pretty clear to everyone that the winning 2020 presidential candidate will have the opportunity to fill Ginsburg’s seat. The Supreme Court, which ought to be the invisible, retiring branch of the federal government, will once again suck up much of the oxygen in the upcoming election.

As Scott Adams has said, this November’s election is a possible “extinction event” for a constitutional America. As part of that extinction event, voters will be deciding whether they want a strict constructionist Supreme Court, which abides by the Constitution and leaves the rest to the people acting through their representatives, or an activist Supreme Court, which operates as the Democrat wish-fulfillment branch of the government. After all, it’s clear that the next president is going to be the one who appoints the justice who swings the court in one of those two directions.

Image: Wikipedia (cropped)

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