What happened: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died Friday night. Just hours after her death, Georgia Senate candidate Doug Collins slammed her on Twitter for her stance on abortion.
The Tweet: Below is the Tweet from Doug Collins.
Why it matters: It is generally accepted when a politician dies people refrain from criticism of the deceased. This common practice is seen in politics, in celebrity deaths and is extended to private citizens by their families. In the United States we have an expression not to “speak ill of the dead.”
Another reason this matters is that Doug Collins, who currently serves in the U.S. House of Representatives and represents Gainesville is running for Senate — long considered the more mature of the two houses of government in the United States. It is the Senate who confirms Supreme Court Justices. If Collins wins a senate seat, he will participate in future Supreme Court confirmations.
What his opponents say: Collins is participating in a “jungle” primary to fill the Senate seat vacated by Johnny Isakson, which is currently held by Gov. Brian Kemp’s appointee, Kelly Loeffler. Collins is running against candidates from all parties, including Loeffler. Whoever gets more than 50% of the vote wins and if no one gets that many votes, the two top vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, will run against each other in January.
So far, the democrat with the highest chance of winning has spoken out against Collins. Rev. Raphael Warnock responded with a tweet of his own and said, “We need to bring back decency, dignity and respect to American political speech.”
Who benefits?: It is too early to tell who benefits, if anyone, from Collins’ tweet. Collins could benefit, as many in his base would agree with his sentiment. The tweet has also galvanized Georgia democrats, who are criticizing Collins on Twitter and calling on fellow democrats to support Warnock’s campaign. Of the democrats, Warnock could benefit the most politically.
Additional Information: Doug Collins was Donald Trump’s pick for Isakson’s senate seat. He was also one of Trump’s chief defenders during January’s impeachment trial.
This article is part of an ongoing series highlighting statements by public officials called The Public Record.
“Because public men and women are amenable ‘at all times’ to the people, they must conduct the public’s business out in the open.” -Charles L. Weltner Sr., former Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court