I am deeply saddened by the profound loss America experienced last night. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to ever serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, leaves a country changed because of her life’s work of creating opportunity within a legal system that failed to recognize equality for many, including herself.
Despite graduating law school the first in her class, none of the New York City law firms offered her a job. Justice Ginsburg said that there were three strikes against her: she was a woman, she was a mother, and she was a Jew. It was her personal experience with that unequal system that led her to take up the legal charge to advance gender equality, helping pave the way for generations of women to pursue their dreams.
Let’s take the time to mourn and to heal from this loss. But then let’s all rise for the fight of our lifetimes. We have to be laser-focused on what’s at stake here — in more tangible ways than ever before.
The Affordable Care Act and protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. Safe and legal abortion. The status of Dreamers. These are just a few of the critical things that now hang in the balance.
Within hours of her passing, Mitch McConnell was already plotting to stack the court: “Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.” We cannot let that happen. Trust me when I say that the coming weeks will determine the direction of our country, and the soul of our nation, for decades to come.
May Justice Ginsburg’s memory be a blessing and an inspiration to carry on her legacy.
Chair, Michigan Democratic Party