On the Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court justice, has died.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought for the rights of women throughout her career, including on the Supreme Court. Millions saw her as holding the line against the Christian fascist assaults on the right to abortion on the Court.

Within a few hours of her death being announced, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced they—the Nazi-Republicans—intend to immediately appoint, through confirming Trump’s chosen nominee, another Supreme Court Justice. Trump brayed to his fascist crowds about nominating a “very talented, very brilliant woman.” The front-runners for nomination, according to the press, are hard-core Christian fascists.1 As we go to press, except for Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, no other Republican senator has announced they would oppose confirming a new justice before Election Day. At least three are minimally needed, for any real chance of obstructing a quick confirmation.

The fact that McConnell in 2016 refused to allow the Senate to even consider Barack Obama’s nominee for a court vacancy2 on the grounds that such nominees should not even be considered during an election year points to the hypocrisy of the fascists, and their relentless drive to cement into place a fascist America. In fact, Ted Cruz went on to say the vote and appointment need to be held before Election Day to, according to the New Yorker, “insure a solid conservative majority on the Court and avoid the possibility of a tie in the event of a challenge to the election’s result,” invoking the possibility of a constitutional crisis without having a nine-justice Supreme Court.

This is part of the fascists’ rationale—stacking the highest court of the land for any election-related court battles ahead,3 and ensuring the continuity of the Trump/Pence regime. They also don’t want to risk losing the possibility of a solid Christian fascist majority for the decades ahead. This new justice will no doubt vote to overturn abortion rights altogether. Without this right, women can be forced to bear children against their will—a form of female enslavement—and one of the prime anchors and spearpoints of the Christian fascist program.

First, any attempt by this fascist regime to jam a nominee through the Senate is totally illegitimate and must NOT be allowed.

It strengthens the completely illegitimate fascist grip on power, and should be fought tooth-and-nail through all appropriate nonviolent means—and mass outpourings of resistance and opposition can be positive as part of what IS most urgently needed: building and strengthening the nationwide struggle called by Refuse Fascism to drive out this fascist regime, with mass nonviolent sustained struggle, day after day starting in October, #OUTNOW.

Second, this will necessarily sharpen the splits between the Nazi-Republicans and the Democrats, and their social bases, as part of the divide between the fascists and those who oppose them.

It is hard to say at this stage, as we go to press, how all this is going to proceed and play out, and there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty and unknowns. But it is important to keep in mind some basic principles of the fundamental interests of the masses of people, and the potential dynamics between splits atop society and their interaction with mass actions from below:

The Democrats, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, etc., are seeking to resolve the crisis with the Trump presidency on the terms of this system, and in the interests of the ruling class of this system, which they represent. We, the masses of people, must go all out, and mobilize ourselves in the millions, to resolve this in our interests, in the interests of humanity, which are fundamentally different from and opposed to those of the ruling class.

This, of course, does not mean that the struggle among the powers that be is irrelevant or unimportant; rather, the way to understand and approach this (and this is a point that must also be repeatedly driven home to people, including through necessary struggle, waged well) is in terms of how it relates to, and what openings it can provide for, “the struggle from below”—for the mobilization of masses of people around the demand that the whole regime must go, because of its fascist nature and actions and what the stakes are for humanity.

Stay tuned to this site—and the Revolution—Nothing Less! Show on YouTube—for updates as the situation develops, and more commentary.


1. According to news reports, a top candidate Trump is considering is Amy Coney Barrett—a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. She belongs to a Christian fascist group called People of Praise. According to the Daily Mail, “The group’s ultra-conservative religious tenets helped spur author Margaret Atwood to publish The Handmaid’s Tale, a story about a religious takeover of the U.S. government which is now a hit TV show, according to a 1986 interview with the writer. Members of the group swear a lifelong oath of loyalty, called a covenant, to one another. They are also assigned and held accountable to a personal adviser, known until recently as a ‘head’ for men and a ‘handmaid’ for women.” [back]

2. When Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia died on February 13, 2016, McConnell declared almost immediately that no nominee by then-President Barack Obama to replace Scalia will be considered by the Republican-controlled Senate. This was more than 11 months before Obama’s replacement would be sworn in. When Obama went ahead and nominated Merrick Garland, the chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat, McConnell and the Republicans blocked even any hearings on the nomination in the Senate and the seat went unfilled until Trump won the election and put in Neil Gorsuch. Clearly, it’s extreme hypocrisy for McConnell to now declare he will forge ahead with any Trump nominee to replace Ginsburg, less than two months before the election. [back]

3. There is a good possibility that if the presidential election does go on, and the vote count is close, it will go to the Supreme Court. In the 2000 presidential election, with a very close election between George W. Bush and Al Gore that hung on a ballot recount in Florida, the Republicans argued successfully at the Supreme Court to stop the Florida recount. This essentially threw the election to Bush based on the electoral college, although Gore had won the popular vote by a significant margin. Brett Kavanaugh, a Christian fascist put on the Supreme Court by Trump, was a member of the Bush legal team in 2000 that won the Supreme Court case on the Florida recount. [back]



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