Updated: Nov 18, 2020
In the news this week we have been reflecting on the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The truth is I do not follow politics enough to know how meaningful this iconic woman's fight for the rights of women really was: for the equality of all citizens.
My husband and I watched the documentary Notorious RBG, and it displays the type of character she was. Someone who chose her words wisely, along with the cases she argued for. Prior to her appointment as Justice, every case she won was one small step towards equality for all people of the U.S.
A notable achievement was her presenting argument in front of the Supreme Court in Califano v. Goldfarb (decided 1977). In this case, a widower wished to collect social security benefit so that he could stay home to take care of his son after his wife had passed away. He was denied the benefit, as the benefit was meant for dependent wives or stay-at-home mothers. RBG argued that this was another case of gender discrimination.
On the radio yesterday they were discussing the hypocrisy of the Republican Party pushing towards a swift replacement of a Justice Ginsburg before the 2020 election. “Honour Her Wish” was being chanted by many as the dying woman’s final words as Justice were that her replacement not be decided until the country had voted in a new president. Why the hypocrisy? In 2016, 10 months leading up to the election, the Republican dominated Senate refused to allow President Obama to appoint the replacement following the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who was Justice Ginsburg’s good friend - despite their opposing political views.
The seats of the Supreme Court are lifetime appointments and so they are of the utmost importance when it comes to the rights of the people set forth in the U.S. constitution. The decision therefore should not be made hastily. President Trump would like to appoint a woman to replace Justice Ginsburg - though likely our beloved liberal RBG would be replaced by a conservative viewpoint, in the hopes of overturning the right to choose (briefly mentioned in a previous post).
There is talk that following Justice Ginsburg’s death, her beliefs will strike a chord with young women to get out and have their voice heard through their ballots. The thought that a progressive country, so-to-speak, would be going backwards in the evolution of humanity really baffles me.
Until the new appointment, let's reflect on some of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's work.