The entire U.S. political field drifted into the eye of the storm when federal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87, died on Friday.
Ginsburg, who died of pancreatic cancer, was known as one of the Liberal judges of the Supreme Court.
She fought for women's rights in particular.
President Donald Trump will have the opportunity to appoint a new, conservative judge to replace Ginsburg before the November presidential election.
During his tenure, Trump has already appointed two Conservative judges to the Supreme Court.
Read more: US Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies - Trump has a chance to increase Conservative dominance
Under the U.S. Constitution, Supreme Court judges are appointed by the president and the appointment is confirmed by the Senate.
Trump and the Republican-majority Senate want to appoint a new judge before the November 3 presidential election.
Among Democrats, plans were rushed to rush into the appointment of a new judge, and Democratic senators have even spun revenge if that happens.
Read more: The appointment of a Supreme Court judge is controversial in the Senate - Democrats threaten revenge
Several Democratic activists, including Joe Biden and Barack Obama, have called for a new judge to be appointed only after the election.
But why is the U.S. Supreme Court such a prominent institution that the entire country drifts into a political duel?
The answer, in all its complexity, is very simple: it is about power.
The Federal Supreme Court has great influence on the law of the country and its interpretation.
Among other things, it makes preliminary rulings binding on lower courts and assesses the constitutionality of laws.
The position of a judge of the Supreme Court is for life.
The ideology of the currently appointed judge usually reflects the ideology of the sitting president and the majority of the Senate.
There are currently nine judges, five of whom were conservatives and four liberals before Ginsburg’s death.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a liberal judge who advocated, among other things, the role of women in society. Photo: Jim Watson / AFP / Lehtikuva
If Trump has time to appoint a new judge before the election, the Conservatives will have a 6-3 majority in the Supreme Court.
This is likely to rock the whole country in a more conservative direction, regardless of who wins the election in the end.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, a conservative appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005, has in some votes joined the views of liberal judges.
He would no longer be in a tongue position, making it even easier for Conservatives to get their own views through.
The Supreme Court has recently dealt with interpretations of the law on abortion rights and minority rights, among other things.
The Supreme Court has made strict decisions in cases that have been resolved by only one or two votes.
In June, it repealed a law restricting the right to abortion in the state of Louisiana, which would have allowed a doctor who performed an abortion to refer a patient to a hospital only 30 miles, or 48 miles, from a clinic if necessary.
President Roberts joined the Liberals and voted in favor of repealing the law.
Opponents of the law said this would have meant that there would be only one abortion clinic left in Louisiana and the law was intended to restrict women’s access to abortion clinics.
Speakers in favor of the law justified their position by guaranteeing the safety of women.
A couple of weeks before the abortion decision to the Supreme Court also outlined the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination including race, religion, gender, also covering sexual orientation and gender identity.
Thousands of people gathered before the U.S. Supreme Court to honor the memory of Ginsburg.
They called for Ginsburg's wish not to choose a successor before the presidential election. Photo: Sue Dorfman / Zuma / MVphotos
Both policies were at odds with the views of the Trump administration.
The White House press secretary said recently about the abortion decision that judges ’own political opinions on the right to abortion have pushed past guaranteeing abortion safety.
According to the gender lawyer who represented Trump’s administration, gender refers to whether a person is born a woman or a man, not sexual orientation or gender identity.
However, Judge Neil Gorsuch, appointed by Trump in 2017, voted in favor, as did President Roberts.
However, controversial ideological decisions are not the only reason why the composition of the Supreme Court is particularly significant right now, with more than a month to go before the presidential election.
It may have the power to decide the outcome of the entire election.
In the 2000 presidential election, the victory of Republican candidate George W. Bush against Al Gore was decided when the Supreme Court, with its Conservative majority, decided to suspend the recount of votes in Florida.
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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, postal voting has been estimated to be significantly more popular than in previous years, and several states have also expanded postal voting due to the pandemic.
Trump has criticized the postal vote and repeatedly argued that it allowed election fraud.
If the November election result is called into question, it is possible that the matter will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.
Then its composition can be really important for the final outcome of the election.