News of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death has celebrities blowing up their followers’ Twitter feeds with a tsunami of inspirational Notorious RBG memes, pleas for people to donate to Democrat candidates for Senate, expressions of fear over the fate of our democracy, and outright calls for violence. Here is a round-up of some of the sillier hot takes:
The “what is America coming to?” hot take:
Family Guy and American Dad creator Seth MacFarlane tweeted: “Three Supreme Court Justices nominated by a reality TV host. Today’s America is a very different place than the one in which I grew up.”
Uh Seth – you were seven when Ronald Reagan took office, and he was an actor who nominated three Supreme Court justices.
The “RBG was a saint” hot take:
Singer Maggie Rogers (known for a song you might hear in Starbucks) tweeted, after a literal 4.5-magnitude earthquake hit Southern California Friday night, that “RGB’s ascent into heaven just sent an earthquake through California.”
The tweet seems to have been deleted, perhaps because someone pointed out that heaven is not typically thought of as being underground.
The “inspiration” hot take:
Brie Larson (Captain Marvel, as well as a few guest spots on “Community” before she became super famous) tweeted the RBG quote that “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.”
Yes. Agreed. Women do belong in places where decisions are being made. So you should be excited to support President Trump’s nominee, given that he already declared he will pick a woman to fill RGB’s seat.
“The Senate is not representative” hot take:
Actor Jeffrey Wright (Casino Royale, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Boardwalk Empire, WestWorld) wants to make D.C. a state in order to counter the Republican Party’s current narrow advantage in the U.S. Senate. He tweeted:
“1.3M people in Wyoming & N Dakota have equal power in the Senate to 57M in NY & California. Republicans leverage this to ram unpopular policy, decisions & appointments down a majority of American throats. Vote Dem to take the Senate. Then ram back. Start with statehood for DC.”
Wright apparently forgot the history of the Constitutional Convention, and how the whole enterprise almost fell apart until Roger Sherman came up with The Great Compromise. The idea of a bicameral legislature was to protect the small colonies (which wanted equal representation) from being dominated by the large colonies (which wanted representation proportional to population).
Without the compromise, the small colonies never would have agreed to join the union in the first place. And the smaller, rural states probably still aren’t going to allow their power to get taken away now. In other words: No taksies-backsies.
The “this was totally unexpected” hot take:
Dan Rather wrote that RGB’s passing was “a shock.”
Sad when someone dies? Yes. But is it really a “shock” when an 87-year-old with pancreatic cancer dies?
The problem here is that the Supreme Court has increasingly functioned as a legislative body over the past several decades, especially as Congress continues to abdicate its role setting policy. That’s why both parties invest so much time and effort fighting over the ideological makeup of the court, and why an unexpected vacancy causes such upheaval. If the judicial branch of our government exercised proper restraint and focused on interpreting law, rather than setting policy, a justice would not need to wait to retire until a president of their own political party is in office.
The “I’m gonna say fuck to emphasis my point” hot take:
“Full Frontal” host Samantha Bee tweeted “This is it. It’s the f—ing fight of our lives.”
Actor Josh Gad (Frozen, Pixels, The Comedians) wants you to act, “Right now. Right now. This is the moment you register. You donate. You vote. Right f—ing now.”
Got that? You donate and vote. Not right now, but right f—ing now.
The “implied violence” hot take:
After Senator Lindsay Graham said he would support efforts to immediately fill the seat, D-list celebrity Kathy Griffin tweeted: “Oh gurrrl, now I have to go to a Halloween shop and get a Lindsey Graham mask…”
She seems to be referencing the infamous photo shoot in which Griffin held a bloody severed Trump head (which was actually a Trump mask).
Putting aside that Griffin has a track record of making comments with violent implications, notice how she misgenders Sen. Graham by calling him a girl, as a way of belittling the senator, who is rumored to be homosexual? Isn’t that bigoted hate speech?
The “this is war” hot take:
Actor and director Rob Reiner called for war:
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s body isn’t even cold and Mitch McConnell is dancing on her grave. This is war. Dems have powerful weapons. Now is the time to use them.”
Remember the words of Maester Luwin from Game of Thrones: “Too easily words of war become acts of war.”
The “respect her final wishes” hot take:
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) wants you to respect Justice Ginsburg’s final wish that she not be replaced until a new president is installed.
Until a new president is installed? So what, if Trump is re-elected, the seat stays open until 2025?
The Constitution dictates how a Supreme Court vacancy gets filled: by the president, with the advice and consent of the Senate. Nowhere does it say “as well as in keeping with the wishes of the deceased.”
Bonus: the “I remember what you said when Scalia died” hot take:
MMA fighter Tara LaRosa tweeted “Pepperidge Farm remembers” in reply to an old tweet from rapper Willie D, who said in 2016 that the world is a better place because Justice Scalia is dead:
Snarky. But a fair point.
Here’s another throwback to 2016: Hillary Clinton said that people calling for the seat to remain vacant dishonor our Constitution: