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The next SCOTUS justice will be pivotal
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I read the Great Bend Tribune article: “Moran, U.S. Attorney McAllister comment on passing of RBG” (Sept. 20 issue). At this time, I don’t want to dwell on the politics of the late United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She battled cancer bravely and both her opponents and her friends agree on that. Her job was to weigh justice, and not to make law. Although even I disagreed with her at times, I, and most other decent people, grieve her passing away. 

The U.S. Supreme Court is our third Branch of Government. Consider it a tripod. Our nation’s Founding Fathers wanted the Supreme Court to be independent arbiters, not lawyers pontificating either Liberal or Conservative talking-points. That part of Ms. Ginsburg’s persona is what I believe was flawed. Yet, I believe in not speaking ill of any deceased person.

Many people have turned her replacement into a presidential election debate point or squabble point. There are some Americans who mistakenly believe that the President (whomever he or she is) should wait until after the November election to nominate and for the U.S. Senate to wait before doing its Constitutional duty of “advice and consent.” Those Americans are woefully ignorant that the United States Supreme Court starts each annual session on the first Monday in October each year. This year, it will obviously be one member short by Oct. 1st, yet the nation’s judicial system cannot freeze in mourning forever.

Ms. Ginsburg’s replacement will be pivotal. However, Americans and especially Senators should quit the squabbling and get on the ball and evaluate whomever the President nominates. That doesn’t mean automatic confirmation. It means “let the process begin.” The sooner the Supreme Court has its regular nine-member panel, will benefit the nation, since it will prevent and eliminate 4 to 4 tie-votes. America must move on promptly and do the people’s business. 

The nation faces many difficult additional issues: the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, racial unrest, as well as a stalled second round of economic stimulus. The Senate Judiciary Committee and the whole Senate should do whatever it takes, even working around-the-clock to get these important measures completed and off the docket.

James A. Marples