Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life is an inspiration and guide for all of us.
She led a life based on principle–most notably an absolute belief in gender equality–and believed she could change society for the better. And, year after year, for 60 years, that’s what she did.
With the ACLU, and afterward at the Supreme Court, she not only changed the meaning of equal protection under the Constitution. She changed how America thinks about gender equality–that women are equal to men in every way, period. And within the complexity of law and Supreme Court decisions her principles remained simple and clear: equality means the right to same sex marriage, abortion, affirmative action, and for workers–especially women workers–equal treatment on the job.
Justice Ginsburg had the bad luck to serve on a Court that was much more conservative than her beliefs. Yet she forged a way to fight for an expanding view of equality and inclusion under the Constitution: if she couldn’t decide and write with the majority, she would write ringing dissents that will endure way beyond her time as a Justice. “So that’s the dissenter’s hope,” she wrote, ”that they are writing not for today, but for tomorrow.”
Justice Ginsburg’s life is a victory of hope over despair, principle over opportunism, and commitment over cynicism.
We have some hard days ahead of us. We don’t yet know all the ways we can stop the McConnell Senate from confirming Justice Ginsburg’s replacement. We do know that changing the Senate and voting in an epic landslide against Trump–the popular vote, the electoral vote, and even the margin in red states–will help in that struggle.
The best way for us to thank Ruth Bader Ginsburg for everything she gave us is to follow her example and fight against cynicism and for an ever expanding idea and reality of equality and justice in America.
Chair Bob Muehlenkamp
Our Revolution Maryland