Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg – Talk About Inspirational Grandmothers!

BY JACK LEVINE

The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a monumental event at a truly pivotal time in the life of our nation.

While Justice Ginsburg fought valiantly to hold on to a life that now has concluded, her courageous efforts to elevate the status of women, promote economic justice, ensure a right to health care under the law, and her commitment to fairness and decency will survive.  To what extent is to be decided.

While I cannot predict what sequence of political maneuvering will now be in play, both before and after the General Election, I have no doubt that the significance of Justice Ginsburg’s passing will emerge as the most compelling subject of debate in the months ahead.

There will be a period of mourning by those who admired this iconic leader, but this is not a time to focus only on past accomplishments.

It is a time to resolve to use our voices, and our votes, to bring progress forward.

 

Feature image: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, center, poses with her family at the Court in Washington, Oct. 1, 1993. Adults from left, son-in-law George Spera, husband Martin, daughter Jane Ginsburg, and son James Ginsburg. The judge’s grandchildren, Paul Spera and Clara Spera, hold her hands. Her great-grandchild not born yet.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court’s Feminist Icon, Is Dead at 87

The second woman appointed to the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg’s pointed and powerful dissenting opinions earned her late-life rock stardom.

The cause was complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer, the Supreme Court said.

By the time two small tumors were found in one of her lungs in December 2018, during a follow-up scan for broken ribs suffered in a recent fall, Justice Ginsburg had beaten colon cancer in 1999 and early-stage pancreatic cancer 10 years later. She received a coronary stent to clear a blocked artery in 2014.

Barely five feet tall and weighing 100 pounds, Justice Ginsburg drew comments for years on her fragile appearance. But she was tough, working out regularly with a trainer, who published a book about his famous client’s challenging exercise regime.

As Justice Ginsburg passed her 80th birthday and 20th anniversary on the Supreme Court bench during President Barack Obama’s second term, she shrugged off a chorus of calls for her to retire in order to give a Democratic president the chance to name her replacement. She planned to stay “as long as I can do the job full steam,” she would say, sometimes adding, “There will be a president after this one, and I’m hopeful that that president will be a fine president.”

When Justice Sandra Day O’Connor retired in January 2006, Justice Ginsburg was for a time the only woman on the Supreme Court — hardly a testament to the revolution in the legal status of women that she had helped bring about in her career as a litigator and strategist.

Her years as the solitary female justice were “the worst times,” she recalled in a 2014 interview. “The image to the public entering the courtroom was eight men, of a certain size, and then this little woman sitting to the side. That was not a good image for the public to see.” Eventually she was joined by two other women, both named by Mr. Obama: Sonia Sotomayor in 2009 and Elena Kagan in 2010.

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