Political student orgs reflect on RBG’s death in light of coming election


Photo courtesy David Lat

Three political student orgs weighed in on debates about the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court

The death of Supreme Court feminist icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18 shook up the presidential race, bringing the Supreme Court and a potential overturn of Roe v. Wade to the front of voters’ minds. 

Calvin Republicans, Students for Life at Calvin, and Andrew Feikema, leader of Students for Biden at Calvin gave statements to Chimes

All three statements began with condolences for the family of the late Bader Ginsburg. “The Calvin Republicans are sad to hear the news that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, and we pray for her family in their time of mourning. Justice Ginsburg was an amazing, strong, resilient woman. She was a noble role model for many women pursuing careers in law,” read the statement provided by Maxim Ziskie, President of the Calvin Republicans. 

“The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been the loss of a remarkable icon for this country whose legacy leaves a significant impression on many Americans,” wrote Feikema.

“While we mourn the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and pray for her friends and family, we are prayerfully looking forward to the future of the Supreme Court as her former position is to be filled,” Students for Life stated, but added “Her track record of denying rights to the unborn, such as her stance on the June Medical Services Vs. Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals case, was detrimental to the pro-life cause and the protection of the unborn.”

Bader Ginsburg’s death leaves an open seat on the nation’s highest court. On September 26, President Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill it. The three student groups also weighed in on this.

“The Calvin Republicans support the nomination of judges who hold an originalist view of the constitution and support the principle that judges should not allow their personal convictions to influence their decision making at the bench,” read the organization’s statement.

Comparing Coney Barrett to Bader Ginsburg, Students for Life said “We believe that, if appointed, Amy Coney Barrett would better defend the rights of those who are unable to speak for themselves.”

Feikema, on behalf of Students for Biden at Calvin, took issue with the potential confirmation of Coney Barrett because of how a previous Supreme Court vacancy was handled.

 “The precedent set by the Senate GOP upon the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016 certainly demonstrates significant hypocrisy among Republicans who want to fill that seat now that people are voting early and by mail,” he stated, adding that “Senate Republicans should allow the American people to decide who will fill that seat through their votes in the Senate, and the presidency.”