On Friday, it was announced that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, age 87, had died. Justice Ginsburg was nominated to the court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She was confirmed by the Senate in a vote of 96 to 3. Her tenure on the court left an indelible mark, stretching far beyond those hallowed halls in the way she impacted society.
Since 2007, powerhouse civil rights attorney Gloria Allred has joined CYInterview to speak about a variety of significant legal cases, in addition to issues relevant to the rights of those people who have been marginalized by society. Her work has been tireless and consistent.
The late Justice Ginsburg and Attorney Allred share a social outlook, accompanied by the determination, grit and brains to fight for what they believe in. The Notorious RBG, as she had come to be known, has now been gifted to posterity. Gloria Allred, thank goodness, remains to lead and fight the good fight.
Last year when Gloria visited the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. for a function, Justice Ginsburg came up to her to talk and, subsequently, they were seated next to each other at dinner that evening – a fitting juxtaposition of two giants. They were sisters-in-arms, women hailing from a time and place in society that did not live up to stated American ideals of equality, to put it mildly.
Gloria Allred shared this, about the time she spent with Justice Ginsburg last year:
“At the dinner, she was placed next to me as my dinner partner and I had this wonderful honor and opportunity to hear from her one on one and her views and what was important to her and to have a conversation with her, to share with her some of the women’s rights cases we’ve done, some of the rights cases that we have done for gay and lesbian equality, marriage equality and other issues we’ve dealt with in the 44 years I’ve been practicing law.
So, it was a unique opportunity and I can only tell you that she is a sister spirit, was a sister spirit, will continue to be. Not only for myself, but so many others, inspirational and empowering just to know her, to listen to her and to know that she fought for it when it wasn’t popular and she stood for it for the rest of her life.”
In February of 2016, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died. It was almost nine months until the Presidential Election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked President Obama from filling the newly vacant seat on the Supreme Court. His reasoning was that since it was an election year, the American people should decide on who the next Supreme Court Justice should be, albeit indirectly, by virtue of who they chose on election day.
The seat left open owing to the death of Justice Scalia would remain unfilled for more than 400 days.
On a side note, Antonin Scalia was himself a legal giant. Though his views were conservative and Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s were liberal, the two legal lions became friends, even vacationing together. This is particularly noteworthy right now, during this time of pandemic, not the pandemic of Covid-19 but of polarization.
Immediately after news of the death of Justice Ginsburg, and with less than 50 days until the next Presidential Election, Senator McConnell and President Trump are already working to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Attorney Allred weighed in on what the Republican leadership is attempting to do:
“Mitch McConnell’s gonna try to jam it through and it’s just, it’s obscene as far as I’m concerned that Senator McConnell is trying to fill this vacancy. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has not even been buried yet. He has no shame. It’s just a lack of respect.”
For those in the country who object to the Republicans trying to put a new justice on the Supreme Court so close to a Presidential Election, particularly after their stance in 2016, Gloria Allred has this advice for what they can do:
“I like the saying of Mother Jones which was, ‘Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.’ And that’s what I plan to do. But I would say there’s nothing more important than to vote at this time. Voting in this next election is the single most important thing anyone can do. Other than that, donating time, donating money, contacting family and friends, letting them know it’s really important; they must do it. Their lives depend on it. Their children’s lives depend on it. Their grandparents’ lives depend on it.
When Trump was elected or selected in 2016 I said, ‘I don’t know if we will live through the next four years.’ As it turns out, 200,000 people didn’t because of Trump’s mishandling and failure to show leadership and be, take responsibility for the Covid-19 crisis, which he could have done something about. He could’ve got PPE out there. He could tell the truth to the American people about what they need to do to protect themselves. He could get supplies in a timely way and he could’ve had, you know, increased testing instead of lying, which clearly he’s done if you read Bob Woodward’s book and hear the tapes. He lied to the American people. He shouldn’t have lacked confidence in the American people. And lies kill. He’s got blood on his hands, as far as I’m concerned, for so many who suffered from the Covid-19 crisis.”
Featured columnist Jay Bildstein joins us for this CYInterview, where he discusses the future of the women’s movement in America, the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election and other compelling topics, with Attorney Allred.
We at CYInterview wish to extend our condolences to the family and friends of the late Justice Ginsburg. Rest in peace.
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