Dr. Paul Nolette, Associate Professor at Marquette University Law School, says Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy will continue to impact the United States following her death on Friday.
“I think, greater than any one case that she argued as an attorney or decided as a judge, was the fact that she really became a symbol, I think, for millions of, particularly women and girls who saw her as a fighter for what she believed in and also somebody who, throughout her career, stood up to sometimes some egregious sexism and sexual harassment to really get to the pinnacle of her profession,” Dr. Nolette said on Wisconsin’s Weekend Morning News.
Dr. Nolette says perhaps the greatest impact she had on society was writing the decision for the majority in United States v. Virginia.
In that case, the court ruled 7-1 that the Virginia Military Institute could no longer accept only men because it violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
“I think by striking down this all-male policy by saying it discriminated against women, it was really in some ways a capstone of what she had been fighting for even going back to the 1970’s when she was an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union fighting for women’s rights causes,” Dr. Nolette said.
Justice Ginaburg’s death will lead to a partisan fight over appointing and confirming her replacement on the Supreme Court, according to Dr. Nolette. And he says that fight has already begun.
He pointed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s statement following Justice Ginsburg’s death, which read in part, “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
“He’s going full steam ahead,” Dr. Nolette said about Senate Majority Leader McConnell. “The big question it seems to me at this point is whether Republicans will ultimately have the votes to move this thing forward. They can afford up to three defections from their caucus of 53.”
If President Trump’s nominee is confirmed, Dr. Nolette says it could change the makeup of the Supreme Court for decades.
“If that happens, then it’ll be a very very strongly conservative Court, and really for the first time in quite some time that the Court will have such a strong conservative majority,” Dr. Nolette said.
Dr. Paul Nolette was a guest on Wisconsin’s Weekend Morning News.