SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

A VOICE SILENT – A LIFE ACCOMPLISHED

When the “Breaking News” announcement splashed across the television screen, I braced myself for bad news…it was, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG had passed away! Even though her health had been declining for several years, she always found a way to fill her seat on the Supreme Court. This time…her work was finished. While mourning her loss, it was difficult to keep the selfish, mental voice from whispering, “How will her death affect the balance on the Supreme Court?”

Before her death, the make-up of the Court was five (5) conservative judges and four (4) liberal judges, now what! As the 2020 election approaches, it is easy to see how the decision made years earlier by conservative Supreme Court Justices to weaken the civil rights laws, was allowing many states to implement unfair voting requirements for people of color. STOP! This is not the time to think of that …it is a time to honor the life she lived and made life easier for many others to live.

EARLY YEARS OF RUTH BADER GINSBURG

Ms. Ginsburg earned a law degree from Columbia University in 1959. Prior to moving to Columbia, she had spent three years at Harvard Law School. Upon graduation from Columbia, Ginsburg had difficulty finding a job because she was a female. In 1960, she was rejected a clerkship position by Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter because of her gender, and would have been denied a job as a law clerk by Judge Edmund L. Palmieri of the U.S. District of the Southern District of New York, if two male university professors from Harvard and Columbia had not intervened. In 1963, she became a professor at Rutgers Law School and even though she was told her salary would be less than her male counterparts (because her husband earned a good salary for his work) she served there until 1972. It was the same year she founded the Women’s Right Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS ADVOCATE

As co-founder and counsel for the Women’s Right Project, Attorney Ginsburg argued six gender cases (won five) before the Supreme Court and changed gender discrimination in many areas of the law.

U.S. COURT OF APPEALS

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter nominated her for a seat on the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia, and Judge Ginsburg was confirmed in June of the same year. Her strong belief in fairness and a sense of having laws that govern all equally, promoted the skillful oral arguments she used to encourage, convince and erase injustice and instill justice. This determination and courage propelled her to the country’s highest court—the Supreme Court.

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREMM\E COURT

In 1993, at the advice of then First Lady Hillary Clinton, Judge Ginsburg was nominated Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton, and was confirmed in August of the same year. She served on the Court until her death, September 18, 2020.

WHAT A REPLACEMENT SHOULD LOOK LIKE

It is not the walls and benches of the Supreme Court that have established its significance to America’s respect for the “rule of law,” it’s the wisdom, non-partisan interpretation of the Constitution, integrity and a strong sense of morality that make it so.  It is diminished in quality and respect if anything less is adhered to.  Justice Ginsburg knew that, practiced that and lived that!  Her replacement should do the same. 

If America’s highest Court allows greed, human power, immorality and politics to be the leading factors…America has lost!  The last three and a half years have been marked by incompetence, corruption, lies, greed and total disregard for the rule of law in leadership.  A house without principles, is a house without a foundation…and it will fall.  Remember the Roman Empire! 

 The greatest disservice to the democratic system of America, is to have laws that are misread, misinterpreted, unenforced and lack stability.   What is the role of the American populace?  To elect leaders who represent our values, enforce those values and remove the ones from office who do not.  We do that by remaining informed, alert and adherence to a sense of duty.  No one gets to stand on the sidelines…no one gets to remain silent…and no one gets to make excuses.  WE ARE THE PEOPLE…LET’S RESPOND AS SUCH!  

“The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty; and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government.”Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her 2012 book,My Own Words