Critics took aim at the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when the court declined to strike down a Texas law banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat could be detected.
Many argued that Ginsburg, who passed away in September of 2020, should have retired while former President Barack Obama was in office and had a majority in the Senate. That would have ensured that Obama would choose her replacement rather than former President Donald Trump, who replaced Ginsburg just before the 2020 presidential election with Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
The theory was that one more left-leaning judge might have made the difference on the Texas law before it was allowed to take effect on Sept. 1.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s categorical refusal to retire brought us here. So thanks you old dead white bitch.
— Nandini B. (@nandelabra) September 2, 2021
Folks blaming Bernie for what happened in Texas are ridiculous. Did y’all not remember the time when we there was a democrat in office and had the chance the tell Ruth Vader Ginsburg to retire but didn’t? Stop it. The establishment needs to take responsibility for their mess.
— Ja’Mal Green (@JaymalGreen) September 2, 2021
In fairness, I got this idea from my amigo @markyzaguirre. He’s harsher than her since I think some of her gains as an attorney won’t be erased. But Ginsburg not retiring in 2013 was one of the most consequential decisions by a justice.
— Eric Michael Garcia (@EricMGarcia) September 1, 2021
In retrospect, maybe Ruth Bader Ginsburg should have stepped down from the Court in 2014
— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) September 1, 2021
Ginsburg turned 81 that year. Democrats held the presidency and 55 seats in the Senate.
A pivotal moment in history that led to the current Supreme Court. https://t.co/SR8KAHJzPN
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) September 2, 2021
And while the consensus among critics appeared to be that Obama would have been able to nominate a suitable replacement in 2013, Ginsburg herself cast doubt on that in a 2014 interview with Elle magazine.
“If I resign any time this year, he could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see in the court. (The Senate Democrats) took off the filibuster for lower federal court appointments, but it remains for this court. So anybody who thinks that if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, they’re misguided,” she said.