The Trump administration is preparing for anti-Life Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s possible departure from the Supreme Court of the United States following a number of health problems in recent months.
Ginsburg, 85, missed oral arguments for the first time in her 25 years on the court on January 7 as she recovered from a December surgery to remove two cancerous growths from her lungs. This comes on the heels of her November 7 fall in the Supreme Court office building, leaving her with three fractured ribs.
Observers on both sides of the aisle are concerned Ginsburg will be unable to perform the duties of her office. This has prompted the Trump administration to begin preparations for what will surely be a key battle in the fight for Life.
The White House “is taking the temperature on possible short-list candidates, reaching out to key stakeholders, and just making sure that people are informed on the process,” said an anonymous source familiar with the matter according to Politico. “They’re doing it very quietly, of course, because the idea is not to be opportunistic, but just to be prepared so we aren’t caught flat-footed.”
Ginsburg has been one of the most anti-Life justices in the Supreme Court’s history since President Bill Clinton nominated her in 1993. Liberal activists have taken to calling her “The Notorious RBG,” a play on the rapper Notorious B.I.G., and praising her for her lifelong defense of a culture of death and opposition to any legal restrictions on elective abortion.
“It is essential to woman’s equality with man that she be the decision maker, that her choice be controlling,” Ginsburg said during her 1993 confirmation hearings. “If you impose restraints that impede her choice, you are disadvantaging her because of her sex.”
Ginsburg has made abortion on demand a defining cause in her career, from her early work with the American Civil Liberties Union to her liberal activism on the Supreme Court. Her most notable cases include Stenberg v. Carhart (2000), a 5-4 decision striking down a Nebraska bill prohibiting the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortions on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade (1973), and Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (2016), a 5-4 decision striking down a Texas law regulating abortion mills to protect women from conditions like Kermit Gosnell’s house of horrors. Throughout her career, she has been a fixture of the abortion culture.
Until Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement in 2018, the Supreme Court has been 5-4 anti-Life, but with Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, the numbers could swing the other way. President Ronald Reagan nominated three Supreme Court Justices during his second term in office, a record number of nominations. If President Trump were to have the opportunity to replace Ginsburg, he would tie Reagan’s nomination record. This would give Trump a historic opportunity to create a 6-3 Pro-Life majority in the Supreme Court, protecting the unborn and building a Culture of Life for decades to come.
“It would be a brutal confirmation,” said John Malcolm, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. “The first two were not easy at all, but this would be much harder in this respect: When Neil Gorsuch was the nominee, you were replacing a conservative with a conservative. With Kavanaugh, you were replacing the perennial swing voter, who more times than not sided with the so-called conservative wing, so that slightly solidified the conservative wing.”
Replacing Ginsburg, though, will be a different matter.
“If you are replacing Justice Ginsburg with a Trump appointee, that would be akin to replacing Thurgood Marshall with Clarence Thomas,” Malcom said. “It would mark a large shift in the direction of the court.”
The Office of the White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has begun discussions with senior aides to the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – South Carolina), to draft a shortlist of potential nominees. These include Seventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a leading contender for the seats now held by Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh; Sixth Circuit Judges Joan Larsen, Amul Thapar, and Raymond Kethledge; Eleventh Circuit Judge Britt Grant; Third Circuit Judge Thomas Hardiman; and Neomi Rao, Trump’s current nominee for Kavanaugh’s former seat on the D.C. Circuit Court.
Texas Right to Life is optimistic that President Trump will continue to nominate strong conservative judges who will strictly interpret the Constitution and protect a Culture of Life.