Who will replace the late Justice Ginsburg?

Ginsburg was known for her contributions to women’s rights and for being the court’s second female justice.
Published: Sep. 19, 2020 at 12:01 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at her Washington home Friday, September 18 at the age of 87, following her battle with pancreatic cancer.

Ginsburg was known for her contributions to women’s rights and for being the court’s second female justice.

Her death, coming just six weeks before the 2020 presidential election, has sparked the question of who will fill her position and when.

Maryville College Political Science Professor Mark O’Gorman says that decision will be made by the President of the United States and the U.S. Senate, “President of the United States has the ability to nominate an associate justice to replace Justice Ginsburg and the United States Senate takes up that process with confirmation hearings and then votes to see if they can confirm that justice.”

Justice Ginsburg was known as the ‘Notorious RBG’ among her younger supporters for her liberal views.

“She (Justice Ginsburg) was known among younger people because of her fiery liberal descents, so the fact that a conservative Republican, Donald Trump, has the ability to nominate someone to replace her, the ideology of the courts could significantly shift even further to the right conservative,” said O’Gorman.

The Justice’s final wish of the court was to not fill her seat until the next election. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement not long after Ginsburg’s death was announced, that whoever President Trump nominates would receive a confirmation vote in the chamber.

“Obviously, he’s (Trump) going to want to pick a more conservative justice and right now the United States Senate is in majority Republican hands. There is a very real possibility that the shift that began with President Trump picking two new justices for the supreme court, both more conservative, that could really be a game-changer and change the ideology of the supreme court for decades to come." O’Gorman said.

O’Gorman said it could take anywhere from 50 to 90 days for the Justice’s seat to be filled, which likely won’t happen before the next election due to the complications of meeting in person for confirmation hearings during the ongoing pandemic.

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