Ruth Bader Ginsburg death has unlocked fierce constitutional debate

The death of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has created a constitutional debate with just over 40 days until the US election. As the death of the 87-year-old liberal icon was announced President Trump tweeted his intention to name a successor.

“We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!,” he wrote on Twitter on Saturday. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he would move forward quickly to confirm  the President’s nominee. Trump’s Democrat rival, Joe Biden, insists the decision on her replacement must wait until after the vote. Trump ally, Senator Lindsay Graham was one who blocked an attempt by Barack Obama to nominate a supreme court justice in 2016 Merrick Garland, to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. At the time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell justified the move on grounds that it was an election year.

The ideological balance of the nine-member court is crucial to its rulings on the most important issues in US law.

Ginsburg, a liberal icon and feminist standard-bearer, died of metastatic pancreatic cancer at her home in Washington DC, surrounded by her family. She was only the second-ever woman to sit on the US Supreme Court. Ginsburg, who served for 27 years, was one of only four liberals on the nine-seat bench. Her death means that, should the Republicans get the vote through, the balance of power would shift decisively towards the conservatives.

The US Congressional Channel C_Span highlighted some moments in the jurist’s career

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