On Friday, September 18, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States announced the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after a years-long fight against cancer. Justice Ginsburg was 87.
As a new week begins, the full weight of this loss begins to settle in.
Our nation has lost a champion of equality. Justice Ginsburg was a pioneer, an icon, a fighter, and an advocate for the rights of all Americans. As an accomplished lawyer and Supreme Court justice, she broke through barriers of sex and religious discrimination even as she was barred from opportunities because of her caregiving role as a mother.
Justice Ginsburg’s lifelong work advanced justice with seminal decisions in the areas of sex discrimination, affirmative action, same-sex marriage, health care for all, the fight for equal pay, and the defense of women’s health rights. These decisions brought justice to all those whose lives were directly impacted and will continue to shape our nation for generations to come.
Ginsburg’s death, while heartbreaking to many Americans, also serves as a call to action 45 days ahead of the election. As we mourn her loss, we will honor her memory and her legacy by continuing the fight for gender equality and women’s rights. As Justice Ginsburg once said, “real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”
Just like Justice Ginsburg did every day of her life, YWCAs across the country will continue to get up and do the work of justice, UNTIL JUSTICE JUST IS.
The Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of our most cherished and constitutionally-protected rights and the process for filling a vacancy on that court must be undertaken in accordance with the highest principles of justice, fairness and integrity. Holding one presidential administration to different standards and rules than another based on which political party controls the White House and the Senate simply does not meet the standards that YWCA adheres to and that constituents expect of our nation’s leaders.
Yet this is precisely what will happen if a Supreme Court nomination is moved forward in the Senate before the January 2021 inauguration date. We simply cannot afford as a nation to undermine the institutions of the Presidency, Congress, and the Supreme Court in this way.
As YWCAs across the country mourn the loss of Justice Ginsburg, we are determined to continue carrying out her legacy as a principled, dignified defender of justice for all. Join us andtell your Senator we must allow the next president, whoever that may be, to fill the Supreme Court vacancy after the January 2021 inauguration!