I’m sure Justice Ginsberg’s family is honored to have their beloved mother and grandmother enjoying the distinction of being the first woman and first Jewish person to lie in state in the US Capitol. It doesn’t remove death’s sting, but hopefully it lessens it.
In my lifetime, my everyday life has been enhanced by the cases Ruth Bader Ginsberg fought and won in Court. Thanks to RBG, as a single woman in the United States, I can get a checking account or credit card, buy a house, and much more. People like to credit popular movements like the sexual revolution in the 1970s for these changes, but so many movements can be just a fad if they are not backed up with changes in laws based on a firm legal foundation. Look how many times we’ve “discovered” sexual harassment.
If you’d like to be reminded of her contribution to our betterment, there are two films that are enjoyable and educational: On the Basis of Sex and RBG. I saw them both in the movie theater (remember that experience?) and just watching the trailers made me tear up. You can rent or buy these films. As a girl who grew up being called “smartypants” a lot, I can’t help but cheer for this petite woman who valued her intellect and never let other diminish her (for long).
Her Supreme Court dissents earned her more acclaim than some of the cases she won as an ACLU litigator. She earned the moniker of Notorious RBG (named after a famous fellow-Brooklynite rapper). There are also memes like “No truth without Ruth” that went viral after she read her dissenting opinions from the bench. Perhaps the most famous is her retort to the shameful dismantling of the Voting Rights Act, “what was once the subject of a dream, the equal citizenship stature of all in our polity, a voice to every voter in our democracy undiluted by race…”
The beautiful thing about a life such as Ruth Bader Ginsberg is the torch is not passed to just her two children, or her 100+ judicial clerks, but to all of us who share her values. We are legion. And we will not give up on equality for all.