There’s no doubt in my mind, the most precious gift possessed of any human being is life. Without it, nothing else matters.
Among other things, this means wishing death on one’s planet-mates, is entirely inappropriate. Visiting demise on our fellow travelers, is even more so.
This is not some new idea, either to me, or really, to any thinker having taken the time to consider that which is important.
If you were to spend sufficient energy to pore over the probably close to a quarter million words on my blog, I can pretty much assure you, I’ve never even implied anything else was true.
Life is irreplaceable. Once gone, it cannot be given back. Oh, there are people having been resuscitated from death, but my point still stands; at the place where somebody can no longer be revived, once dead, they’re never to return.
As a rule, one ought to be at a bare minimum, saddened for the loss of those who cared about a deceased person, and for those that person cared about.
This is not up for dispute in my way of thinking.
It’s at this point though, that I’m going to diverge from the perspective that seems to be held by many folks.
Though it’s true that people pass on, that doesn’t mean life suddenly, magically grinds to a halt.
The rest of us must continue to live. That’s not a maybe. Even those grieving the loss of some dearly departed family member or friend, must continue to eat, and typically, in pretty short order, begin to try to normalize behavior; still internally dealing with the great chasm caused by losing the loved one no longer among us.
If a person who works at a particular company dies, the company must seek to find some replacement for them. In order for them to continue to operate, that’s typically a need.
Do they really want to do so? Probably not. Nonetheless, do it they must. To fail, means putting additional stress on others working for the entity.
Frankly, in most cases there will be hardship in any case, since somebody will have to fill a place they’re not entirely equipped to. Further, the folks who had likely worked out how to deal with the person no longer there, will now have to forge new relationships with the individual stepping into the position.
All of this, is of course contingent on the ability to find a replacement, which can often be a tedious process.
In none of what’s occurring, is anybody attempting to disrespect or in some wise dishonor the person no longer with us.
It’s a simple reality. Life doesn’t stop.
This brings me to the passing of U. S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her decease is tragic without question. Though it wasn’t entirely unexpected, the sting is certainly still there for very many who knew and, one presumes, loved her.
That said, she herself is supposed to have made it clear, the fact that a president is coming up on an election isn’t a reason to not nominate a replacement to a sitting justice leaving the court.
There are those who argue that her “dying wish” was that the president would wait, and not nominate a replacement until after the coming election—which granted, is quite close. That said, the action of attempting to replace a Justice no longer in his or her place, is not a Chief Executive’s right, rather it’s his or her duty.
It can be argued that the sitting leader, can choose to hold off on doing so until after the election cycle has completed, but the question would be, “Why would he do so?”
The person in that position was duly elected by the electoral college to sit in the office he occupies. That’s presumably a mandate based on the actions of that body.
Yes, it’s true that he may not win reelection. Even so, his duty to keep the country running smoothly until he departs office is no weaker, due to the fact he could be replaced as a result of the coming selection process for a leader.
It can certainly be argued, that having a fully staffed Supreme Court is a part of that process.
And the fact is, even if he nominates a new individual to sit on that court, chances are good they won’t be in place until after the coming election.
The point is, assuming he acts tomorrow, there will continue to be a period during which that court won’t be fully manned. That’s not even considering the idea that he waits a few more months to make his choice, or to allow a newly minted president—should there be one—to select his.
The thing people need to understand in all of this though, is that the person at the top making a choice, or not doing so, shouldn’t be considered a slight, or bow in deference to the esteemed former member of the body in question.
There are appropriate things that can and should be done to honor the memory of the person considered. Because she was such a prominent individual, some of them have probably long since been put in place.
Others are just beginning, and still more are likely yet to come.
All considered though, the choice of a replacement for the person no longer able to fulfill the duties of the position she once held should not be a matter said to honor or dishonor her memory.
That doesn’t mean there can be no other considerations that must be dealt with in making the choice where a new potential member of the Supreme Court is concerned; just that the choice should be made, not either to honor nor to slight the person no longer in that role.
So, the question must be asked, “Should the current president nominate a replacement for a Supreme Court Justice no longer able to perform his or her duties in an election year, close to that election?” The answer, it seems to me is, “Unless someone can give strong reasons not to do so, yes.” You may disagree; that’s your right. Keep in mind though, it appears precedent is on my side.
Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.