Commentator argues Ginsburg is not the most ‘reliably progressive’ Supreme Court justice

While U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has long been an icon among progressives, that fondness might be fading among some far-left activists.

A recent opinion piece published by the Indiana Daily Student of Indiana University in Bloomington included the claim that the longtime justice is simply not radical enough for today’s liberalism. 

“Isn’t the most dependable”

Writer Jarrett Alexander argued that she “isn’t the most dependable liberal vote on the Court, especially when her record is put next to that of the more reliably progressive [Sonia] Sotomayor.”

He went on to argue that Ginsburg “has made choices and comments during her term that many on the left would find problematic at best.”

Alexander advised against “the idolization of a political figure,” warning that it represents a risky situation.

“While a singer’s political views have the potential to be harmful to their fans, they’re never going to be in a position to influence the law in the way that someone like Ginsburg is on a daily basis,” he continued.

“Might feel energizing”

Among the specific issues the author noted was Ginsburg’s decision not to step down during the Obama administration so a Democratic president would have been able to replace her with a younger successor.

“Were Ginsburg to die or fall seriously ill, it could have major effects on the Court’s decision making,” Alexander wrote. “Allowing Trump to appoint another conservative justice has the potential to put access to abortion, the future of DACA recipients and possibly even the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at risk.”

In addition to putting “the fate of her legacy, and major liberal judicial gains, at risk by not retiring when she had the chance,” he went on to assert that Ginsburg deserves criticism for a lack of racial diversity among her law clerks.

While she remains overwhelmingly popular on the left, Alexander is not the first commentator to warn against creating a cult of personality around Ginsburg.

Politico editor-at-large Peter Canellos wrote in 2018 that the “efforts to show popular support and approval for a heroic liberal judge might feel energizing for progressives, but they also remove any sense of stigma or impropriety from conservatives’ far more effective efforts to provide a support network for “their kind” of justices—a movement so aggressive it handed Trump a list of approved high-court nominees before he was even elected president.”

While some recent Supreme Court decisions have confounded conservatives, it is clear that not all progressives are a part of the longstanding love affair with the court’s most prominent liberal.

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