President Donald Trump’s decision to nominate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy has thrown a party into the expected “wild West” of Washington, D.C., legislation.
And even as the liberal jurist being groomed to replace Kennedy jolts the judicial establishment, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other lawmakers are quick to praise the potential suitor, and take a moment to thank the community leader already who has been a staple of New York’s hallowed halls for nearly 50 years.“If we want to have a better system than we have today, we have to put her in there,” Schumer said during a telephone interview on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” “She’s a giant in American history.”
Ginsburg, who served more than 10 years on the court — and who will turn 92 this December — has toiled in New York City, many political observers say, after clerking for New York’s most influential judge, William Moynihan.
When Kennedy announced the court’s new justice, he tipped his hat to the city’s elected officials by referring to the next judge, also a Brooklynite, as a New Yorker. The 69-year-old Ginsburg is also a big supporter of Staten Island Democratic chairman Jay Savino. She would also welcome the backing of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Schumer said.Cuomo, in announcing his nominee on Tuesday, also mentioned the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, noting that Ginsburg “has always worked to expand opportunities for all people, good or bad.”
“Ginsburg, despite her age, is determined to serve her country diligently and with honor and fairness,” Cuomo said.
That is a sentiment that many civil rights groups, in particular, echo, calling her a traditionalist opposed to unequal treatment. The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division “has never missed an opportunity to support policy reforms that promote justice and equity for the millions of people across this country and around the world whose lives are affected by laws that are flawed or unjust,” said a Justice Department statement.She was also an outspoken critic of Trump, calling for stricter screening procedures for judges, and a statement saying when he accused her of using “a strategy of so-called ‘sympathy’ for President Donald Trump to make cases that may have proven challenging to reach federal appeals courts that she could not accept because of her age.”
Schumer noted that Ginsburg was never found to have been biased in any case.“She was independent,” he said. “She was correct, you know, the first woman, post gender, to be on the court of appeals, she was, I think, the first woman nominated to the United States Supreme Court in decades.”
Meyers said the country was “probably best served” if she won confirmation.“We have only one female justice,” he said. “So we’re going to go to work today.”