John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation's Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies told CBN News, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a genuine pioneer in the law. Very, very few can even be mentioned in the same breath with her. When it comes to women's rights, she's clearly the biggest figure in the law."
Malcolm said what Ginsburg did for women's rights stands favorably alongside what Justice Thurgood Marshall famously did in helping assure the rights of African-Americans.
"If Antonin Scalia was a lion in the law, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a lioness," Malcolm asserted. "She will have a well-deserved legacy for what she did over the course of her long and distinguished career."
'A Formidable Figure Under any Circumstances'
Asked whether the liberal Ginsburg caused conservatives to tremble in fear when they knew she was about to speak or rule on one of their favorite issues, Malcolm answered, "I don't know whether fear is the right word, particularly because she was rather slight of stature. But she was a formidable figure under any circumstances, whether as a litigant or as a judge on the D.C. Circuit or as a justice on the Supreme Court."
Malcolm brought up Ginsburg's work relationship with Antonin Scalia, who was every bit as conservative as Ginsburg was liberal.
"They were close friends and had a mutual admiration society. And they said they would read each other's opinions very, very carefully, and it would sharpen their thinking and improve the quality of their reasoning in their opinions."
Malcolm continued, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg – whether you agreed with her or not, and I frequently did not – you had to respect her, and she was well-liked and respected across the political spectrum, and certainly by all of her colleagues."
'Make the Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings seem like a Dust-up'
With President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ready to try to name and confirm Ginsburg's replacement in the midst of a highly-contentious election campaign, Malcolm conjectured this could lead to an incredibly nasty confirmation battle.
"I think this is going to make the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings seem like a dust-up," he stated. "Because if President Trump is the person who will appoint Justice Ginsburg's replacement, you're going to be replacing a liberal icon with probably a solid conservative. We haven't seen a shift like that from one nomination, I think since Thurgood Marshall was replaced by Clarence Thomas. And so this could have a real effect on the ideological balance of the Court."
But then again…
"Of course, if the Republicans don't hold and Vice President Biden wins, he's the person who gets to nominate Justice Ginsburg's replacement," Malcolm explained. "That'll be a very different dynamic."
STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE FREE CBN NEWS APP
Click Here Get the App with Special Alerts on Breaking News and Top Stories
When asked if since Ginsburg was a woman, Trump almost has to replace her with a woman, Malcolm answered, "I don't know whether he 'has to' almost do anything. It may be something that enters into the political calculus, and fortunately, he has a number of well-qualified women on his list of 44 potential Supreme Court justices."
If Amy Coney Barrett is Nominated
One such woman well-respected by social conservatives and constitutional traditionalists is the 7th Circuit's Amy Coney Barrett, said to have been a close runner-up to Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Malcolm said of her, "If she is the person who gets the nod, I hope she gets confirmed because she would be a superb Supreme Court justice."
Though if she is nominated, Democrats would fight especially hard against her, as they already did during her contentious confirmation hearing to the 7th Circuit.
That's when Democratic California Senator Dianne Feinstein said of Barrett's Catholic faith, "The dogma lives loudly within you, and that's of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country."
But Malcolm said of Barrett, "Anybody who watched that confirmation hearing was well aware of the fact that she showed great grace under fire."
Trump has already said he would only pick a nominee to the high court from the lists of 44 people he and his people have put together in the past.
Malcolm had submitted his own list of potential nominees and several ended up on the White House lists.