First, I want to say thank you for the service of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She served with honor. She was only the second female justice on the Supreme Court and championed the causes of women and all Americans. What I will remember the most about her was her pop star status. Few justices become famous. In fact, I would challenge most of you to name them all right now, I can’t. She became the notorious RBG, which is rare air for a justice. She is like Thurgood Marshall, the first black man to serve on the bench. Though not the first like Marshall, O’Conner was the first women, Ginsburg still became an example to so many young women showing them what was possible.
Secondly, buckle up for the madness that is about to happen. My guess is Trump will rush a nominee through; he has the time and votes in the Senate to do it. I just want to remind everyone that yes nominating a justice will make Republicans massive hypocrites after they argued a president in his last year should not nominate a judge, but should wait for the election. However, trying to stop Trump will make the Democrats massive hypocrites also. They argued, vehemently, that the president has the right to nominate a judge during any time of his last year. So before you get too angry, remember both sides are just as bad. The only difference was Obama did not have the numbers to put through a nomination, or he would have, while Trump does.
Third, I have a proposal that I have been pushing for years. Nothing in the Constitution mandates there has to be nine judges. I think we should stay at eight. We need to pass a new amendment that requires the judges to stay at eight for the time being. With the eight there should be four Democratic judges and four Republican judges. In the future, if a Democratic judge dies then the Democrats get to put in a new one and vice versa. When the Constitution was written the founders put no provisions in to deal with parties. They hoped we could avoid parties. They were wrong and parties are here to stay.
Judges were supposed to be above parties. There should not be Republican and Democratic ones, but there are. If we go to eight judges we lose the problem of the court leaning to one side or the other. I know what you are thinking, what about ties. My answer is tough, deal with it. Instead of voting along party lines, use the law and figure it out. If there is a tie, keep at it until the law convinces one judge to switch their vote.
When Washington first nominated the judges he put in six. Clearly, he did not worry about ties. Under Lincoln there were ten. Both incredibly wise presidents did not worry about ties. They expected judges to do their jobs based on the law, not parties. We could avoid a great deal of future conflict if both sides were allowed to have the same number of people on bench.