Respecting RBG is Not a Political Issue

Ginsburg seated in her robe, Supreme Court official portrait 2016
September 25, 2020 stephhwilliams 0 Comments

Showing respect for Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or anyone for that matter, should not be about politics. It should be about acknowledging her (or anyone’s) accomplishments, contributions to society, and unwavering human kindness.

When news broke last Friday that Justice Ginsburg had passed at the age of 87, my heart sank. Of course, I wasn’t alone. Various social media sites were brimming with those pouring out tribute to the “Notorious RBG.” Soon, a number of news sites1See e.g., CBS New York, USA Today, The Hill were reporting that someone had added a lace collar to the Fearless Girl Statue in NY sometime during the night.

Tweet with image shared by @LoriLevin on Twitter 9/20/20

Unfortunately, pretty quickly after her passing became known, chatter shifted focus to whether she would be replaced before the November Presidential election. And then people lost their minds, because everything that happens has become another blade of divisiveness.

But RBG herself wasn’t divisive. Oh sure, she was not afraid to voice her opinion, whether it be the “popular” one or not. During her approximately 27 years on the Supreme Court, she became the de facto leader of the “liberal wing” of the court and penned quite a few highly publicized dissenting opinions. However, she was the quintessential professional, able to disagree vehemently yet civilly, standing up for what she believed in without trampling on those who disagreed. She evened maintained a strong friendship with her political polar opposite, Justice Scalia, up until his death in 2016.

Whether you agreed with her legal decisions, often politicized as everything nowadays is, you must acknowledge what she accomplished for gender equality and women’s rights, and other important issues such as establishing mental illness as an ADA-covered disability.

Her death is certainly a loss for her family and loved ones, but her life is a testament to civil discourse. While I recognize the potential importance of the timing of the nomination and confirmation of a replacement Justice, I refuse to relegate this force of a woman to a simple pawn in the political machine. You won’t see me throwing my two cents in as to whether Trump should make a nomination or whether the Senate should entertain a vote. Instead, I’ll use my voice to simply say, “Thank you, Justice Ginsburg. May your memory be a blessing.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Supreme Court of the United States

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