Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is currently hospitalized in Maryland while she recovers from complications caused by a gallstone.
The health of the eighty-seven-year-old Justice is never far removed from political discourse. Justice Ginsburg has faced several bouts of cancer in recent years. In December of 2018, two cancerous nodules were removed from her lungs, and in August of 2019 she was treated for a tumor on her pancreas.
She is expected to participate in today’s oral arguments via teleconference. Her fellow Justices will also be participating via teleconference as a result of efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Ginsburg took her oath of office on August 10, 1993, after being nominated by President Bill Clinton. She was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 96-3. I was twelve the day Justice Ginsburg was confirmed, and I have no memories of a Supreme Court without her. I read a great deal about her friendship with the late Justice Antonin Scalia when he died in February of 2016. The ideologically opposite Justices served on the nation’s high court together for over two decades. When Scalia died, Justice Ginsburg said of him, “We were best buddies.”
I admit I cringe when I see Justice Ginsburg’s name in the news. It is almost always a health-related news blurb, and I do not relish the speculative drama that ensues. I would not, at any age, want my health to be fodder for those waiting to go to the mat over a judicial appointment.
Inevitably one day Justice Ginsburg’s seat on the high court will become the center of what is likely to be a firestorm. I do not look forward to that day. It would behoove those of us who are unabashedly pro-life to remember our convictions and pray for Justice Ginsburg as we would pray for any mother and grandmother whose life is precious to those who love her. No life should be reduced to a political chess piece. Rhetoric that suggests as much only serves to discourage good men and women from serving our country, and when it comes from those who claim to value life, all life, it damages our credibility.