Ruth Bader Ginsburg saw into the future as if through a magical looking glass. Her summaries and court opinions always took the high road, while at the same time giving us an okay to take our Constitution as a living document that breathes with changes in our country. To be sure, she understood it was an outline with which to provide stability and ethical guidance, but it could accommodate the changes in the world and our thinking as the experiment of democracy evolved.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, of the Senate Judiciary Committee, left, talks to Supreme Court nominee judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, right and her son. James during a break in her confirmation hearing before the committee at Capitol Hill on Thursday, July 22, 1991 in Washington. Earlier, the Senate’s only black member, Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, D-III., strongly objected when Hatch, in questioning Ginsburg, compared the Supreme Court’s landmark abortion ruling with an1857 pro-slavery decision. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi)

Ruth intended for us to think as she put thoughtful energy into her opinions positive or negative and at least one of those dissenting opinions may come into play in our Presidential election this fall; the Bush-Gore decision. Ginsburg dissented as a result of a 5-4 decsision to discontinue a recount that set into motion a decision by the Supreme Court to decide our election along partisan lines. Even dissenting opinions are typically held regarding future cases.
Along with the fact that Ginsburg’s past dissenting opinions have merit, so to does her death. From where I sit, I see a no-win situation for many GOP Senators who will ultimately be asked to hastily confirm a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg as most are of the opinion that President Trump will be trounced and it may be their last hurrah. The dilemma for the ones on the bubble is whether or not to agree to a confirmation vote and get flogged by the electorate for it, or stand firm on things they have said in the past about the inappropriateness of an election year confirmation and get beaten by Trump in a public tantrum. Either way, they are likely to lose their seats because many people are tired of those games of one upance and certainly do not, by and large favor them going back on their words.
Ginsburg said a few years back, that the most regrettable Supreme Court decision was the Citizens United vs The Federal Election Commission which, without much argument has seen bi-partisan pushback across the board. The decision itself professed that corporations were comprised of people therefore they should be allowed equal say monetarily in elections. Periodically the decision has broadened, leading to unlimited money from undisclosed persons and businesses including foreign actors because they can hide their involvement by way of handing money to Political Action Committees (PAC’S) through American members. This is a maneuver where Russia is suspected of donations funneled through the NRA. There are varying tax implications with all the aspects now available to the super rich who are slowly working their way to controlling our election outcomes without any of us having any real say.
Locally, we are going through a little PAC creation where a “group” of “second homeowners” are seeking to influence local politics through a PAC because they choose to stay registered in their home states, therefore they can’t vote here. According to someone who did feel like they could use some representation, donated to the newly formed PAC in good faith, alongside “100’s” of others. Long story short, it was never registered with the Secretary of State and the man running it couldn’t open a bank account with the donated money until he had the registration complete. Regarding that he declared the bank wouldn’t let him. Of course not, he didn’t have the paper work that tells the bank the organization is legit.
From where I sit, it appears to be, at least in part the very reason Ginsburg was so disappointed in the Citizen’s United Ruling of the Court. It is a vehicle for power and control, and at the very least a great way to scam innocent people trying to use it properly. ‘We the People’ can never hope to have voting say if indeed a PAC like I just discussed is receiving donations of hundreds of thousands of dollars and that is nothing like the trillions that pass through the collective bunch of PAC’s out there. I am heartened that the person who wrote to distance themselves from the PAC locally let people know it didn’t look like it was on the up and up. I wish I could visit with that person to explain we lose more than we gain by not talking and working together to solve problems in the first place.
This country has gone astray and is in flux largely due to the Citizens United ruling of 2010 in my view. We have lost our way politically, morally and honorably by turning campaign finance into a tool for the already powerful. Many of us try to hold onto the moral and ethical high ground that Ginsburg optimized when she defended women’s rights, support for all religions, personal rights and was a champion for our environment and even by her written dissents she will continue to rule for the people, all people long into the future. We should be so lucky.

Leave a Reply