By Robert A. Vella

The liberal champion of the U.S. Supreme Court has died.  Ruth Bader Ginsburg was 87 years old and had suffered from multiple bouts of cancer.  Her passing wasn’t at all unexpected, but it surely is untimely considering the dire political straights this country is in right now.

Had she survived until after the inauguration of the next president, the fate of the nation rested squarely in the hands of the American people.  The 2020 election would have, and may still yet, choose the course between democracy and fascism, and the course between a constitutional republic and a dictatorship.  However, that fate will now be decided by a handful of Republicans in the U.S. Senate and a handful of conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court.

What will they do?  If they want to, these ten or so individuals could enable President Trump to steal the election through a variety of means I detailed yesterday on this blog;  and, should they do so, there isn’t a damn thing anyone can do to stop him.  I’m not saying that they will do such a thing, but I am saying that they could do it.  Think about that, folks.  How could so much power be given to so few people?

I’ll tell you how.  The political Left in America, and particularly liberals, are egregiously inept in terms of strategy and tactics.  Until recently, when the dangerous threat posed by Donald Trump became obvious, they couldn’t or wouldn’t understand that societies govern themselves through competition.  These battles for political power can be waged civilly and relatively cooperatively in a democracy, or they can be waged brutally and forcefully under various forms of authoritarianism.  The idea of universal social harmony and togetherness which took root in liberal philosophy since the 1960s is a nonsensical fallacy.  Although it is admirable to have such goals, it is sheer stupidity to expect that human nature would suddenly change en masse just because it is a good idea.  Additionally, the fractured state of the left-wing is equally absurd.  To watch environmental groups fighting with labor unions or progressives fighting with centrists, while all are being simultaneously assaulted by the far-right, is perhaps the greatest exercise in futility I’ve ever had the displeasure of witnessing.

The recent history of the Supreme Court provides perfect examples.  During President Obama‘s second term, Democrats urged Ruth Bader Ginsburg to resign due to her age and health concerns.  She refused, and put her own personal desires above the larger interests of the nation.  In contrast, Justice Anthony Kennedy stepped-down from the court in 2018 to allow Trump to fill the vacancy with a younger, more conservative nominee (Brett Kavanaugh);  and, two years earlier in 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to allow Obama to replace the deceased Antonin Scalia who Trump replaced with Neil Gorsuch in 2017.  All this changed the ideological composition of the Supreme Court to what is now a 5-3 conservative majority which will soon become 6-3.

A decade ago, a Republican right-winger whom I was fiercely debating on another blog told me that “I was on the wrong side.”  He was correct – not because I agreed with his extreme beliefs (I most vigorously disagreed), but because he respected my understanding of politics, strategic acumen, and determination to stand firmly on principle.

Yesterday afternoon, when the Ruth Bader Ginsburg news broke amidst heavy thunderstorms over my home, it made me come to terms with my own futility.  I cannot quantify the benefit of The Secular Jurist since its inception eight years ago, but whatever it meant to readers and observers has now been overtaken by events.  It is time for younger, more energetic, and more capable fighters to take-up the mantle.  I am shutting-down this site, retiring from blogging, and hope to live-out the rest of my years as peacefully as possible.

Best wishes, good luck, and farewell to you all.

From:  Who Will Replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg? McConnell Vows Vote

WASHINGTON — The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday instantly upended the nation’s politics in the middle of an already bitter campaign, giving President Trump an opportunity to try to install a third member of the Supreme Court with just weeks before an election that polls show he is currently losing.

The White House had already made quiet preparations in the days before Justice Ginsburg’s death to advance a nominee without waiting for voters to decide whether to give Mr. Trump another four years in the White House. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, vowed Friday night to hold a vote on a Trump nominee but would not say whether he would try to rush it through before the Nov. 3 vote in what would surely be a titanic partisan battle.


If Mr. Trump were able to replace Justice Ginsburg, a liberal icon, it could cement a conservative majority for years to come, giving Republican appointees six of the nine seats. While Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. lately has sided at times with the four liberals on issues like immigration, gay rights and health care, he would no longer be the swing vote on a court with another Trump appointee.


Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the most endangered Republican incumbent, told The New York Times this month that she would not favor voting on a new justice in October. “I think that’s too close, I really do,” she said.

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska told an interviewer on Friday shortly before the announcement of Justice Ginsburg’s death that she opposed confirming a new justice before the election. “I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee,” she said. “We are 50 some days away from an election.”

See also:

McConnell says Senate will vote on Trump’s nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat

Attention Mitch McConnell: Filling RBG’s seat now could break American democracy

Democrats’ last hope to stop Trump from replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg rests with a handful of Republican senators

Here’s what happened when Senate Republicans refused to vote [for 11 months] on Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination [by President Obama in 2016]

Donald Trump Made Justice [Anthony] Kennedy an Offer He Couldn’t Refuse

Opinion: Ginsburg gambled to stay and now she may lose her legacy

What if there’s a tie? How the Supreme Court works when there are only 8 justices


U.S. reverses COVID-19 testing guidance again: exposed without symptoms need tests

Judge blocks Michigan’s [longstanding] ban on transporting voters to polls

Puerto Rico residents say they answered 2020 census. The government says otherwise — over and over again.

Mass suspension of German police officers who shared pictures of Hitler and doctored images of refugees in gas chambers

25 thoughts on “The legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the ineptitude of liberals, and a farewell to our readers

  1. O M G! I’ll miss you so much.

    Yes, authoritarians willingly march in lockstep while liberals are like trying to herd cats, unconcerned with herd wellness.

    Still on Twitter? My pathetic endeavors continue via @thefairelection.

    Wait till all those unmasked “free dumb” fighters come down with Covid, and they have no access to affordable health care. I wouldn’t wish on them what they would impose upon me. And my recent cancer treatments have been in the high six digits! Cost to me was pocket change.

    Claudia Davison Alameda, CA Sent from my iPad mini


    Liked by 5 people

  2. Robert, it has been a pleasure getting to know you through your blog. I appreciate all the time and work you have put into each post over the years I’ve been following your blog. I wish you well in the days and months ahead. May you find the peace you seek ❤

    Liked by 5 people

  3. You will be missed. I can appreciate the sentiment behind the conclusion you have arrived at; you can push against immovables, and bang your head against brick walls. In the end it is not the obstacles which degrade.
    I have enjoyed The Secular Jurist over the years, thank you for that; which brings us back to “you will be missed.” I wish you all the best.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Although I will miss your insights, I fully understand your decision to shut down. It has come to me that there is little reason for my activities too. Now that I am an octogenarian, I have little of relevance to say and very few who want to hear. It is enough to turn the Dharma Wheel. Peace is my wish for you!

    Liked by 7 people

  5. I’ve certainly enjoyed your posts and will miss all the valuable information and links, but I completely understand you wanting to “get a life” in other endeavors. Best of luck to you. Maybe you could do a guest post occasionally…just a thought🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I am profoundly sorry to hear this. Please give us (or me) a way to stay in touch with you by email. You may leave me a message on Facebook. Best wishes to you and thank you for all your very perceptive and immensely insightful posts. The depth of your understanding of world events will be greatly missed.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Oh, Robert. I have had an emotional day b/c of saying a final farewell to one of my oldest friends (he died of cancer, at the age of 62) this afternoon. His son waded into the Bay of Fundy and released his ashes with our flowers and a friend played ‘The Rose’ on the harmonica. It was a poignant ceremony with many of our friends.
    Now I’ve read this. I feel like I’ve lost another friend . . And also the very wisest, most articulate voice of sense about the goings-on in the USA. I will miss you and your commentary so. Although I understand completely, I am saddened.
    Like Jeff, if you’d like to contact me I’d be honoured but do not feel that you must as I will understand that too. Peace out! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Carmen, I’m so sorry about adding to your loss today. The last thing I wanted was to cause someone grief. I’m heartened by your very kind words. I’ll send you an email tomorrow so we can stay in touch.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Thanks for the voice you’ve added to the blogging world these last several years. I’m MUCH younger (I’m 26), and I certainly hope and pray that I and others will do a good job in taking up that mantle.

    Liked by 3 people

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