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Sunday, May 19, 2024
HomeOpinionWhy Ruth Bader Ginsburg Passing Could Be A Disaster for the GOP

Why Ruth Bader Ginsburg Passing Could Be A Disaster for the GOP

Portrait of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2016. (Photo: Supreme Court of the United States)
Portrait of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2016. (Photo: Supreme Court of the United States)
Portrait of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2016. (Photo: Supreme Court of the United States)

It was widely reported U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been receiving radiation treatment for pancreatic cancer, obviously a serious condition deserving of serious media attention. Any decent person would — of course — put aside partisan politics, and wish the eminent jurist a speedy and uncomplicated recovery.

Such sentiments from the left are in short supply. In fact, their lack of basic human decency is horrific.

Witness the appalling statement from “comedian” Bill Maher regarding the death of David  Koch from prostate cancer.

“I’m glad he’s dead,” the HBO host said Friday on an episode of his show, Real Time. “I hope the end was painful.”

Bill Maher’s remarks were mirrored by equalling appalling sentiments from Marty Kelley — the fittingly childishly nom de plumed, “Doktor Zoom” — in a full article at the scurrilous Wonkette blog entitled, Yr Wonkette Says Only Good Things About The Dead. David Koch Is Dead. Good.

But we are all subject to mortality at any moment and, even more so, respecting an 86-year-old battling a potentially deadly illness.

If, unfortunately, Justice Ginsburg should succumb, the thinking among some Republicans is that this would open up another seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. It would shift the balance of the High Court further to the right, for decades. Rulings would firmly favor conservatism by a 6 to 3 margin.

This is essentially correct. But there could very well be a major political price to pay for it.

There is no doubt whatsoever many Republicans — unhappy with the choice of then-candidate Donald Trump — held their nose and voted for him to secure the U.S. Supreme Court. Such statements were made verbatim by the likes of former House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt, to name just a few.

Since every vote counted in a close election decided by swing states, the ideological balance of power on the U.S. Supreme Court clearly was a deciding factor in President Trump’s election.

It could reasonably be argued that the bulk of the people who voted for President Trump with closed noses did so because of the Court. They would not have the incentive to do so again if President Trump places a new conservative justice before the next election.

It is quite possible conservatives who did not vote in 2012 and unexpectedly voted in huge numbers in 2016. will not vote in 2020 if the Court was already secure at 6 to 3.

There is a way out for the GOP and especially President Trump’s re-election chances. Ironically, it’s the “Biden rule.” Should Justice Ginsburg pass before the end of the year or early in 2020, the “Biden rule” becomes the escape route.

In 1992, then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Joe Biden said he would block President George H.W. Bush’s Supreme Court nominee because it was an election year. He argued the “American people should have a voice in the decision.” Senator Mitch McConnell subsequently cited this “Biden rule” to justify disallowing a vote on President Barack Obama’s late-term nominee, Merrick Garland.

If Justice Ginsburg passes before the end of the year, it would behove the Trump Administration to give as many months thought to a replacement as needed to run out the clock before the first of January 2020. Afterward, the double precedent of the Biden rule can be put in place with no wiggle room for Democratic hopefuls to complain.

It’s worth noting David Axelrod has already squealed about the country being “torn apart”. But President Trump will be looking to the voice of the people to assist the appointment process through the ballot box in November of 2020, as Mr. Biden so wished in 1992.

The upside would be that the nose-holders would have to once again hold their noses for perhaps an even more vital U.S> Supreme Court appointment. The prospect of a 6 to 3 majority deciding dearly-held principles would give meaning to President Trump’s message of “vote for me and I will deliver the court.”

It would be a significant get out the vote inventive and campaign message.

Admittedly, there are downsides.

President Trump might lose his bid for re-election and Democrats would appoint the next justice. But even if they win the presidency they might not gain a majority in the U.S. Senate. There is still a decent change Justice Ginsburg’s replacement would be more a moderate member of the liberal minority.

If Justice Ginsberg passes before the election — particularly after January — the Biden rule might once again come to haunt Democrats.

Written by

M. Joseph Sheppard is an author and columnist who writes on politics and economics. Called "A Leading Pundit" by Newsmax, his articles have appeared and been cited on American Thinker, The Federalist, Time Out U.K. and numerous other venues.

Latest comments

  • Absurd article.
    1. Trump should have already thoroughly evaluated his nominees.
    2. Trump should not appoint another moderate conservative like Chief Justice Roberts or Kavanaugh who will inevitably become liberal over the course of their career like Souter and Breyer.
    3. Trump should appoint a solidly conservative Justice like Clarence Thomas or Alito.
    4. Trump should get the nominee confirmed while Republicans still control the Senate and the Presidency.
    5. Trump has been the best “promise-keeper” as President of all the Presidents I have seen in my long lifetime. Nailing down the Supreme Court by filling it with Justices who adhere to the words of the Constitution and the laws not justices who make up policies that fit their own leftist ideology is one of his most important promises. The Supreme Court should be a neutral arbiter operating based on the Constitution and the laws passed by the legislature not a second and unelected legislature inflicting leftist fantasies on a public who would never have passed them.

    • Amy Coney Barrett coming our way.

      • Amy Corey Barrett would be a NIGHTMARE on ELM STREET.

        For anyone who cares a whit about saving what remains of White Western Civilization and the nation that our 100 percent White European Founding Fathers created – placing a squishy, weak, sentimental, emotional and irrational female like Amy Barrett on the Supreme Court would be equivalent to putting the self-hating, self-loathing, virulently anti-White Angela Merkel on the US Supreme Court.

        Barrett shares the exact same mentally demented mindset as does Angelia Jolie. Adopting orphans from Africa? That reeks of self-loathing, self-hating, white Hollywood liberal virtue signaling behavior whereby in order for these white women to gain approval from their liberal cocktail party friends – they need to adopt a designer minority kid that they can parade around in front of their white liberal pals and use as their Badge of White Guilt Absolution.

        Does anyone for a second believe that Barrett, with her track record and history of engaging in this kind of nauseating white liberal virtue signaling – would side with Donald Trump on ANY issue that involved securing our borders, stopping the flood of incompatible, indigestible and largely parasitic third world aliens, and terminating these insane nation and culturally destructive refugee resettlement and asylum seeking fraudster or anchor baby programs?

        Look around the White Western world and look at what these female politicians have done to their nations. They’ve destroyed them. These women hold signs in the street, welcoming Muslims into their nations and then those Muslims proceed to set new world records for raping those white women?

        Women will ultimately destroy Western Civilization with their emotionally driven, squishy, weak sentimentality and sickening female compassion that has no ability to discern between who is a friend and who is an enemy.

        • Maybe you need some help? Have you read her legal decisions?

  • total baloney. He will get points for doing what he said he would. It will be the ravings of the lefties that will get attention and likely push PDT over the top next year.

  • What a flawed argument. Conservatives last best chance is to see the SC a 9-0 conservative majority.

  • Goofy strategy.

    • SCOTUS picks are to important to be based on what MIGHT happen.

      Stick another Scalia i there ASAP and let the chips fall where they may.

      Trump’s ability to be re-elected won’t be scuttled by a SCOTUS pick popular with his base.

  • I’ve seen a lot of ridiculous arguments over the years, but this author’s thesis is plain nuts. The left’s threats against the court (by packing it) make it even more essential that Trump be re-elected.

  • Wouldn’t an equally motivating factor be that the left has ALREADY articulated their plan to pack the court. It really makes this argument moot. 6-3? They’ll only add MORE justices.
    This sounds like the antiquated loser thinking of Karl Rove and Frank Luntz.

    • Agreed…I’m sick of those establishment spokes-mouth losers.

  • I, as well as most conservatives that know the basic difference between right and wrong, will celebrate when this evil caricature of a woman Ginsburg is finally equalized and will answer for directly facilitating the murdering of more than 60 million innocents.

  • the only issue i see is if the left take over the whitehouse and senate they will stack the court to change the balance.

  • This article is propaganda. For the last forty years SCOTUS has handed the country over to the Marxi-Crats on a silver platter. They have had RBG (Ginsburg) in their hip pocket, then later the gay Kagan, and the like. Conservatives have had little to no rights to live in a country that many have fought and died for. As a matter of fact, Marxi-Crats have thumbed their noses at the Constitution for the past 40.years. Any law they do not like, they have shopped their cases to activist judges to evade the Constitution. They have completely destroyed the public school and State University system and launched all out war on OTHER PEOPLE’S MINOR CHILDREN and COLLEGE AGE KIDS.

    Marxi-Crats including RBG have no one to blame but themselves for what is playing out with RBG. RBG was asked to retire DURING THE OBAMA Administration, so that he could appoint another judge to take her seat. She refused, because it is clear after all she has been thru with her health, RBG ASSUMED SHE IS INVINCIBLE, CLEARLY SHE IS NOT.

    Personally, I feel that this country is nearly gone as a Christian dominated homeland as we know it. It is nearly destroyed by people who feel that this country BELONGS TO THE ENTIRE WORLD. I have heard more than one LEGAL immigrant tell me, years ago “this is EVERYBODY’S COUNTRY.” It is only NOW THANKS TO DONALD J. TRUMP, that the world is put on notice, THIS IS OUR COUNTRY !! NOT A GRAB BAG OPEN TO THE ENTIRE WORLD !


  • Pretty unanimous. Terrible article. The author doesn’t understand the 2016 election. Shill or a Cuck. “Shepard” is a big red flag.

  • Completely lame analysis. It worked once, so we’ll never vote again?

    Wishful thinking from a douche.

  • Testosterone is available in trans-dermal patch form, Mr. Sheppard. Perhaps you should try some, it might help you to see that evil must be fought not placated.

  • This guy writes as if us conservatives have only one concern. True, SCOTUS is a major concern but only one of many. DJT has delivered or visibly tried to deliver on his promises. He makes reading the news seem like every day is Christmas morning. Getting rid of birthright citizenship may prove to be the largest factor in combating our illegal alien problem. Sane criminal justice reform. Keeping us out of yet more meaningless involvement in the middle east. Stopping the Chinese from continuing to pillage our economy….The list goes on and on. Another originalist on the Supreme Court will only confirm the wise choice of his voters, and motivate them to vote for him even more strongly.

  • The Biden rule referred to a “lame duck” President. Not to mention it isn’t a rule, it’s a wish.


  • This article is pure BS. Whoever this clown Sheppard is, he apparently doesn’t have a grasp on political reality. We are at war in this country, it just doesn’t, for the moment, involve bullets. We are fighting for the survival of our representative Republic. And as they say, ‘All is fair in love and in war’.

  • Hokum. The idea conservatives would stay home if Trump now puts another Originalist on the SCOTUS is absurd. So much great MAGA news every day – all thanks to our wonderful President! 2020 is going to be a GOP landslide.

  • Pure speculation and the worst kind as we all know the Left is not going to do anything but try to pack the Court whenever they get a chance. Ginsburg who hopefully is improving has been a terrible but reliable vote for Leftism. No one ever sees a big case go before the Supreme Court and asks, “Wonder how Ruth Ginsburg will vote.”

    Also, her personal attacks on President Trump were way out of line. She should have retired right then. But of course, the standards are different for how these people conduct themselves.

    May Ruth Ginsberg have a long and healthy retirement. President Trump is in office to do his job not back down to the rabid anti-American Left.

  • Huh? Didn’t those cases have a Senate Majority other than the party the President belonged to? That rule doesn’t apply here.

  • If the voters that held their nose to vote for Trump in 2016 were only doing it to keep the court (I’m assuming to keep it conservative?), then why would they not vote for Trump in 2020? A non-sensical article.

  • Ginsberg is the cancer and what the hell was the point of this article anyway. I found it obtuse and mostly nonsensical

  • This is so dumb it makes my head hurt.

  • I initially disagreed with this article, but when he said Pubs would probably stay home if the S.C. is Conservative, I had to change my mind. One thing Pubs tend to do after winning an election is fall asleep. Pubs are too complacent and count their chickens before the eggs hatch.

  • Before this woman has to face the “Real Judge” she can still RECANT her diabolical rulings, she is “The Mother of Judical Activism” for, and promoter of gay marriages. The abomination of gay marriages has been exported throught the earth, and the earth herself is now in danger. I am praying this lady RECANTS before she passes!

  • My understanding of the Biden rule was that it applied to an appointment by a lame-duck President, one who could not be re-elected to that office. That circumstance does not occur until 2024.

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