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The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

In mid-July, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was facing yet another round of cancer – this time pancreatic cancer.  She had beaten cancer on a number of previous occasions – making her what I described as “one tough old gal.”  But even a tough gal cannot always beat the odds.

Ginsburg was an intellectual powerhouse that could express her liberal views persuasively, but without rancor.  It was a testimony to her character that her closest friend on the Supreme Court was arguably the most conservative member, Justice Antonin Scalia.  He was the perfect counterpart to Ginsburg – an intellectual powerhouse, but without rancor.  The high court had no better representative of the liberal viewpoint than Ginsburg.

Ginsburg was also the celebrity of the Court.  She was deemed to be the Court’s rock star – appearing in documentaries and on the covers of innumerable magazines.  Young people wore RBG t-shirts.

On September 18, 2020, Ruth Bader Ginsburg became a historic figure.  The book of her attributes and achievements closed – left for future generations to remember and historians to interpret.

Ginsburg’s passing came as a surprise to much of the public.  That is largely due to the fact that her terminal illness was not reported.  Make no mistake.  The so-called insiders were well aware that she was in the last stages of pancreatic cancer.

Perhaps the reluctance to report on her expected demise was out of a hope that she would survive past Inauguration Day 2021 – and that former Vice President Biden would be given the responsibility to select a successor.  In her own postmortem statement, Ginsburg, herself, expressed her wish that her successor would be selected by the winner of the 2020 presidential election.  There was no mistaking who she hoped that would be.  She had previously stated that she did not want Trump to nominate her replacement.

With all the grit and determination in her frail body, she could not make herself survive long enough to take the chance that it would be Biden – and not Trump – taking the oath of office in January.

On July 20th, I wrote a commentary addressing Ginsburg’s announcement of renewed cancer —  and said “ … the entire nation wishes her a quick and speedy recovery – even though that is not a likely outcome.  At 87. Ginsburg is on the precipice of eternity.  Everyone knows that.”

I further wrote:

“Given her age and condition, most justices would step aside.  The reason that she does not is the talk of the town — but only whispered in the cloistered rooms of political power.

Her desire to maintain her seat on the Supreme Court is driven by one overriding fear – that President Trump would name her successor and win approval in the Republican Senate.  That same fear has the left totally apoplectic.”

That moment has come.  Her death comes at a time when mourning will quickly give way to the political machinations.

As I predicted in that July 20 commentary.  Her death in the last days of a Trump administration would set off political wrangling unseen in our lifetimes.  The confirmations of Justice Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh will seem like a love-in compared to what lies ahead.

Gorsuch and Kavanaugh replaced members of the Supreme Court who were not dramatically different than themselves.  The Court remained evenly divided with Chief Justice John Roberts assuming the swing vote position.

There will be a clamor from the left to keep the seat open for the next President.  They will cite the largely irrelevant “Biden Rule” against nominating a candidate in a presidential election year.  It was not really a “rule,” but just a pragmatic political strategy-of-convenience depending on the circumstances of the moment.

Senate Leader Mitch McConnell seemed to invoke the Rule when he blocked the confirmation of Merritt Garland in the last days of the Obama administration.  Of course, the Rule was only an excuse.  What McConnell did was use his Republican majority and the rules of the Senate – his constitutional powers — to postpone the confirmation in the hope that Trump would win the 2016 election.  It was a longshot gambit that paid off.

You can bet the ranch that the Biden Rule will not be invoked this time.  Knowing that Ginsburg was terminally ill, Trump is ready to name his nominee – after a very short period of respectful mourning.  Trump has published his list of candidates for the high court – and there is not a liberal on the list.  This means that Ginsburg is likely to be replaced by a conservative justice – leaning the court to a conservative constitutionalist majority for potentially years to come.

McConnell – for his part — will commence hearings before the election.  The odds – based on the rules of the Senate – is that confirmation will likely happen sometime before Inauguration Day.

There will be a LOT of caterwauling, but McConnell has all the constitutional powers on his side – as long as he has the vote.  Win or lose the election, Trump will have impacted on the Supreme Court more than any President since Franklin Roosevelt – and FDR needed three terms to do it.

Apart from the hysterical cries from Democrats – and the hyper-dramatic reporting of the left-wing news outlets – there is another reaction about which to be concerned.  And that is the reaction of the mobs that are already poised for violent protest in the streets.  This could be just another excuse to renew the burning, looting and vandalism.

Hang on to your hats because our political ride is about to get wild and scarier than ever.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Dan Tyree

    All the more reason to re-elect Trump. A justice chosen by joe the retard would legislate the constitution to mean nothing. We need to keep in mind that we are one election away from losing our country. If the commiecrats have their way we would quickly no longer recognize our country.

    • Onofre M. Magpayo

      I agree with Senator McConnell and Senator Ted Cruz that President Trump should nominate Ginsburg replacement and Senator McConnell would present to the senate for voting process. It is President Trumps constitutional right to proceed nominating Supreme Court Judge Ginsburg replacement as soon as possible. Don’t let the Dems talked down to it.

  2. Dan Tyree

    Don’t forget that Ginsburg twice voted against the 2nd amendment. GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!!!!!!

  3. Dsw

    -Obama was president from 1/20/2009-1/20/2017. And Ginsburg was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009.
    -If Ginsburg wanted a Democrat to select her successor, Ginsburg should have retired before 2015. Then Obama could have selected her successor.
    -Instead, Ginsburg stayed on and in early November 2018, the 87-year-old justice fell in her office and broke three ribs. While Ginsburg was being treated for the broken ribs, doctors discovered two cancerous growths in her left lung.
    -The lung cancer surgery kept her off the bench for the first week of oral arguments in 2019, for the first time in her 25 years on the court. In July, after being admitted to the hospital for an infection, Ginsburg announced that she had been undergoing chemotherapy to treat lesions on her liver that were detected in February.
    -Ginsburg should have retired in 2018. She was unfit for her job.
    -We all know why Ginsburg did not step down. She never liked POTUS from the minute he took office in 2016, rudely saying such things as:
    -7/13/16-“He has no consistency about him,” Ginsburg told CNN late Monday. “He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego.”
    -She told the New York Times in an interview published online Sunday, “I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president… “Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”
    -When asked by Associated Press reporter Mark Sherman about a Trump victory, Ginsburg said: “I don’t want to think about that possibility.”
    -All very unprofessional statements by Ginsburg, before the POTUS even stepped foot in the White House, by someone who should have been an example as a member of the Supreme Court.
    -So now we are left with this mess, that Ginsburg herself created, by not stepping down when she should have, so there could have been a less stressful transition.
    -If she retired in 2015, Obama could have picked her successor.
    -If she retired in 2018, as she should have, her successor could have been selected, without all this drama, which there is no reason for, but for Ginsburg’s selfishness.
    -Ginsburg does not get to decide when her successor is selected. She missed that opportunity when she had the chance. Her fault.

    • Richard U

      Very well put. Totally agree!

  4. Diane Bradshaw Ashworth

    The Leftist radicals are looking for any excuse to resume their tyranny by rioting and we all know the other destructive actions! Anything to disavow Mr. Trump’s presidency. And as usual the Dems will remain silent until they are forced to acknowledge it for purely political reasons. And what will the destruction change in SCOTUS makeup?
    Ginsburg missed her chance to see that a liberal would replace her by hanging on throughout the Obama years. As intelligent as she was, she missed her opportunity to ensure a liberal successor.