Episode 54: Supreme Being

In the fifty-fourth episode of The Latest, we reflect on the life and impact of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a woman as rare and remarkable as any other Supreme product. Rawley Davis, host of the Dawgs of War Podcast (https://linktr.ee/DawgsofWarPodcast) and curator of the @angrybrownsfans Cleveland Browns Instagram meme account, provides this week’s O.J. Simpson Twitter Update.

The Latest with Greg Ott
Episode 54: Supreme Being


Those voices are discussing Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the late Supreme Court Justice that, unlike Sean William Scott, Anna Nicole Smith, and Haley Joel Osment, will leave behind a lasting positive legacy as a public figure with three names.

As the country mourns an iconic jurist that served as a crucial counterweight on the nation’s highest court, Republicans leading the charge to fill her position are asking themselves a solemn question: who’s going to issue the dissent over us dancing on her grave?

Only the second woman ever to sit on the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg spent over 27 years on the bench, more than Alex Rodriguez and Tim Tebow combined. 

Throughout her tenure, she survived multiple bouts of colon, lung, and pancreatic cancer, underwent heart surgery, and even fractured three ribs in her Supreme Court office, presumably while straining to pick up all the empty scattered beer cans left behind by the court’s most junior associate.

And her career was indeed remarkable, slightly moreso than the careers of those salespeople on LinkedIn sharing tips on how the pandemic can improve your prospecting. 

Ginsburg’s landmark cases promoted gender equality, defined insider trading, legalized same-sex marriage, preserved voting rights, upheld women’s health and the right to abortion, and played a loud dissenting role in Bush v. Gore, reminding us that we’re mere months away from approaching Florida’s vicennial opportunity to botch a course-changing election. 

In the notable case of District of Columbia v. Theodore Wesby, she even fought in favor of police accountability under the Fourth Amendment, after 16 defendants sued D.C. police for breaking up a supposed 1 a.m. bachelor party, said to have been arranged by a person called Peaches or Tasty, who wasn’t in attendance, which was taking place in her grandson’s inherited house, featuring an improvised strip club on a floor so filthy that people refused to sit on it, preferring to lounge near metal folding chairs and the used condoms scattered across the windowsills. Now, you might think that sounds disgusting, but I’m pretty sure I’m quoting from Justice Ginsburg’s dissent when I say you’ve got to fight for your right to party.

As soon as her blood stopped passing through her coronary arteries, Republicans swiftly put their cold hearts into action, promising to fill her empty seat as soon as it was possible to remove the lifetime of left-leaning jurisprudence from the upholstery. 

Despite the so-called “McConnell Rule,” which was invented by the Senate Majority Leader in 2016 in order to prevent a vote on Merrick Garland, a man whose name sounds like a pharmaceutical company who served President Obama’s nominee to replace Antonin Scalia, a man whose name sounds like a lizard-based appetizer on the menu of a three-star Italian restaurant, because it was an election year, the rule apparently will not apply in 2020.

It’s kind of like a game of Monopoly, in which, despite the way that you’ve always played, you remind the hat that they’re not allowed to take an extra $500 when they land on Free Parking because they rolled doubles or something, only to take an extra two grand when your thimble lands there, because, deep down, everyone knows you’re a liar and you’d rather ruin a fun family holiday than admit you can’t win without cheating.

One of the things I admired about RBG was her friendship with Justice Scalia. Despite their vast political differences, Ginsburg broadly serving as a feminist defending equal rights for private individuals, and Scalia believing we must adhere to each and every word escribed to parchment in 1787, so we can live out the original American dream of eating porridge, getting dissentary, and sending letters by horse, they respected each other as friends and colleagues.

They even shared an affinity for the Opera, an even rarer trait for a country that counts streaming Ed Sheerhan more than any other artist on Spotify as an appreciation for the arts.

Even though they saw eye-to-eye on next to nothing as colleagues, they were able to co-exist, just like that bumper sticker that’s lowering the value of your car recommends.

I think that’s what’s so disappointing about the rush to jam through a new justice before the next president, like a cruise ship buffet patron scarfing down as much shrimp and steak as they can before the dining area’s closed by a norovirus outbreak.

It’s not that we’re likely to replace someone who kept a pocket constitution in her handbag with someone who keeps a pistol in her Berken; it’s that one of this country’s two political parties refuses to even pretend that they’re on the same page as the other.

Members of the Republican Party won’t even call their opponents by their actual name, The Democratic Party, opting for the pejorative “Democrat” Party because it ends in rat or something, as if a donkey is much better to begin with, but at least rats and donkeys are native to the United States, unlike elephants, unless it’s alluding to our persistent obesity crisis.  

But look: stealing the seat of one Supreme Court justice, only to use the same circumstance to justify filling a second, precedent be damned, is bad faith — also known as evangelical, a state of mind through which you trade you so-called principles for an extra sip of wine or a bite of that little cracker. 

The United States should be the place where people are free to share different opinions and beliefs. If I wanted to live in a country dictated by minority rule for a generation by a band of sore losers, I’d emigrate to Margaritaville.

One of GInsburg’s dying wishes was to not be replaced on the court until the next president is elected, a request as likely to be honored as that Southwest Airlines drink coupon that’s been in your wallet since 1994. 

Which is why I think the best way to honor her legacy would be to expand the size of the court should the Democratic Party take power in January.

This isn’t court packing, filling the audience for the magic show with plants that pretend the guy guessed their card. This is blowing into the cartridge and hitting the reset button on the Nintendo that’s been blinking red for the past decade. 

If Republicans don’t want to play by the rules, the rules they themselves set, Democrats have to demonstrate that they’re also willing to flip the board in the interest of restoring some semblance of fairness, requiring both parties to pick up their pieces together if they want to start playing again.

Adding two seats to the court, or expanding statehood to D.C. or Puerto Rico, aren’t extreme measures: it’s grabbing the steering wheel from the drunk driver in an attempt to swerve back into the correct lane. 

Otherwise, if nothing changes despite a change of power next year, One First Street NE will continue to resemble what it looks like at this very moment: a Supreme Court missing justice.