Notorious — In Remembrance of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

There is no introduction deserving enough to introduce Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Writing this feels akin to what I feel like writing about the death of a superhero would feel like. RBG was a superhero. For women, it often felt like she was the only piece of this puzzle we call a government that was standing up for us.

She was the person I looked up to and thought about the most when I first started writing at The Bengal. It was the first time I had ever been the only woman in a meeting room, all of the other editors being male.

In 2018, just a few weeks before I started my job at the newspaper, a movie titled, “On The Basis Of Sex”, was released. My mom and I, already huge fans and supporters of RBG, were the first people in the theater to see it that weekend. I remember crying through the entire movie, something I rarely do, and coming out feeling more empowered and justified as a woman than I’d ever felt.

The next week when I started at The Bengal, I kept going over one of her key phrases in my head; My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was more than just a feminist icon. She was a champion and protector of women’s rights and a faithful leader in the battle for equality of the sexes.

On September 18th, I got a call from my mom that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed away from her long-standing battle with cancer. Although it was expected, it was also extremely unexpected. In the eyes of many young women, she was invincible.

When I replied, “Oh, no”, my mom replied, “It’s much worse than oh no.”

I could make a list of all of her accomplishments and talk about all of the books, movies and documentaries based on her extraordinary life but the truth is, she made such an influence on so many people, that if you don’t already know who RBG is, you are doing yourself and your country a dishonor.

RBG was one woman of eight in a class of 500 males throughout law school.

RBG was forced to defend her position in the school that the dean claimed she “took from a man”.

RBG was the first female member of the prestigious legal journal, the Harvard Law Review.

RBG raised her daughter while taking care of her sick husband after he was diagnosed with cancer, as well as also attending his law classes to take notes.

RBG was the first tenured female professor at Columbia Law School.

RBG was the second female after Sandra Day O’Connor to be appointed a seat on the Supreme Court.

RBG was the longest-serving Jewish Supreme Court Justice.

RBG won the American Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award for her contributions to gender equality and civil rights.

RBG was rated by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary as “well qualified”, the highest possible rating for a prospective justice.

RBG is honored in the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

RBG headed the Women’s Rights Project.

RBG coined the term, “I dissent” after objecting to the court’s majority opinion to favor George W. Bush over Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election. She concluded her decision with the famous words, “I dissent” a remarkable stray from the tradition of ending the phrase with, “respectfully”.

I could continue to list more of her accomplishments and selflessly brave ways in which she stood up for women of the modern era and for many generations to come, but you get the point. She was a superhero, She was the closest thing to a woman sent from God that I can imagine.

She was strong, determined and a hell of a tough woman. Not only did she deal with hundreds, if not thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of men trying to tell her that she was not right for her job, telling her that she should stay home and take care of her daughter, and assuming that she was of less intelligence than them just because of her gender, but RBG even battled cancer throughout all of these trials and tribulations. She was superhuman.

It’s hard to talk about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy in the past tense.

I remember months ago when she was in the hospital for complications from a surgery, it seemed like the world stopped for a minute.

Politicians on Twitter were telling the world about what would happen if we were left with an open Supreme Court seat. Screaming into the social media void that Roe vs. Wade, a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which it was ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction,” was going to be overturned. That Trump was going to nominate a new Republican Justice who would repeal Oregefell v. Hodges, the landmark civil rights case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples.

Along with all of these, there are a plethora of rights that could be taken from women and minorities if we let this happen.

As her dying wish, Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked that she not be replaced on the Supreme Court until the next election was held. One hour after her death, Senator Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate will be voting on her replacement as soon as this Friday, September 25th.

RBG worked her whole life for our freedoms and our rights, now it is time for us to return the favor. She has earned her rest, and we must stop at nothing to continue her life’s work, starting by refusing to let this administration silence her legacy.

I am begging you, please don’t let her be replaced before the next election. The implications of a 6–3 republican majority are barring on catastrophic, and it is our turn to fight for ourselves instead of relying on someone to do all of the dirty work for us. Text “RBG” to 50409 to sign a petition to restrict the senate from voting for her replacement until January 2021. Call your senators and tell them to delay the vote. Donate to the Biden campaign in case things don’t go the right way.

Most importantly, vote this November 3rd, because she will be watching.

Make her proud.

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Kaitlyn Hart

Kaitlyn Hart

Just trying to become the next Gloria Steinem.