Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dean of the US Supreme Court

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dean of the US Supreme Court, died Friday, September 18 at the age of 87, from pancreatic cancer. The progressive judge had become a real icon on the left, in particular because of her commitment to the cause of women, minorities and the environment.

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Less than two months before the US presidential election, his death paves the way for an intense political battle. Democrats fear that Donald Trump will hasten to name his successor. According to NPR radio, she herself had confided her last wishes to her granddaughter, Clara Spera. “My dearest wish is not to be replaced until a new president has taken the oath”, she dictated to him a few days before his death.

Many political tributes

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed in 1993 by Bill Clinton. Thanks to its positioning in line with the aspirations of the youngest, it had conquered them, to the point of earning the nickname of « Notorious RBG » in reference to rapper Notorious BIG.

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Despite his positioning on the left, Republicans and Democrats immediately paid tribute to him. “Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me. There will never be anyone like her. Thank you RBG », tweeted former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

She “Was a pioneer, passionate about her causes, she served the Supreme Court with honor and distinction”, added Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a close friend of the president. Donald Trump hailed in a statement a “Brilliant mind” including decisions, especially on women’s rights, “Have excited all Americans”. “Fighting to the end”, this progressive magistrate “Proved that you can disagree without being disagreeable”, he added.

Fear of a conservative successor

Just moments after the announcement of his death, Democratic Leader in the Senate Chuck Schumer greeted a “Giant of American history” but asked not to rush the choice of his successor. “The American people must have their say in the selection of the next Supreme Court judge. His post should not be assigned until we have a new president ”, he tweeted.

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Anxious to galvanize voters on the religious right, Donald Trump has already published a list of conservative judges, most of them opposed to abortion and in favor of carrying weapons, in which he will draw to choose the next sage of the Supreme Court .

According to the Constitution, it would then be up to the Senate to approve the choice of the president. Given the Republican majority in the upper house, it is very possible, except defection of moderate elected officials, that his candidate enters the temple of Law. This would cement the conservative majority of the high court, which has the last word on the subjects that most divide American society: abortion, minority rights, the carrying of arms, the death penalty …

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Today, the five conservative judges – out of nine – do not in fact unite, and it is common for one of them to vote with his progressive colleagues.

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