The Reasons Trump’s Legacy Could Last
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died of cancer at the age of 87. Her final wish was for her successor to be nominated by a new president. I have often thought about her in the last few years. So much responsibility rested on her thin shoulders, even the pressure of surviving an election.
The road to her final, crucial position is well documented. She was one of nine female students who, in 1956, were accepted into Harvard Law School in a class of 500 students. This was at a time when a law firm could say without embarrassment that they did not want to hire a woman. Ginsburg created a framework for change. She took part in research projects in Sweden and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Lund in 1969. She was inspired by what she saw here: pregnant judges and, for its time, a high proportion of female students. The stay in Sweden strengthened and shaped her conviction.
Between 1973 and 1976, she brought six discrimination cases based on sex to the Supreme Court and won five of them. It was just as simple as it was brilliant: Since men are protected against sex discrimination, women can claim these rights also. In 1993, she was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice.
Ginsburg was a champion of LGBTQ rights, and for the right of women to make decisions about their own bodies.
Turning Back the Clock
During the last few years of her life, Ginsburg witnessed the U.S. turning back the clock. Legislative proposals to ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest, as in Alabama. Doctors obliged to attempt the impossible in implanting embryos in ectopic pregnancies, as in Ohio. Abortion clinics forced to shut in state after state. Religious extremism determining the fate of women.
The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in many ways leaves a vacuum.
The Republican-led Senate, which during the Obama era refused to confirm the president’s Supreme Court nominee during an election year, now wants to see Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court as soon as possible.
Getting Ready for Political Battle
A right-wing populist property tycoon has had enough time to create quite a mess during one term in office. Threats of nuclear war with Kim Jong-Un, free rein for Turkey to attack Syria with an increased migration crisis as a result, an exit from the Paris Agreement, a green light for further oil exploration in sensitive areas, and unabashed lies in the handling of the epidemic are just a few examples. But more important will be the legacy Trump leaves behind. Ginsburg knew this.
With the nomination of yet another conservative Supreme Court justice, Trump’s legacy will be long-lasting.
Women’s rights defenders are getting ready for political battle. Activists are taking to the streets in loud protest. The fateful election is getting closer.
The opinion polls are not in Trump’s favor, but Brexit and the 2016 U.S. presidential election have taught many voters not to trust in polls.
Win or lose, Trump will remain in office until January 2021.
The wishes of a woman have never been high on his agenda.
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