One year ago, the world lost a legend, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG). RBG lost her battle to metastatic pancreatic cancer on Sept. 18, 2020, at the age of 87. She worked on the Supreme Court until the day she died.
RGB was a women’s rights advocate responsible for women being able to sign a mortgage and get a bank account without a male co-signer, the passing of Roe v. Wade, women being allowed to serve on juries and more. A year after her passing, women’s rights are on the decline across the country, just like she, and her supporters, feared.
This started the day she passed marked the same day of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s announcement that former President Donald Trump would be allowed to fill her seat before the next president takes over. This action ignored a precedent set in 2016 when a similar situation occurred, and Former President Barack Obama was not allowed to fill the seat. This action by McConnell disrespected RBG, not even giving her family or her supporters time to mourn and remember the amazing things RBG did.
The disrespect continued as this move defied her dying wish. According to RBG’s granddaughter, Clara Spera, Ginsburg told her, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is instilled.” This was out of fear of a conservative majority in the Supreme Court, which would challenge the rights RBG fought for her entire life. Unfortunately, her fear came true.
Trump was able to choose RBG’s replacement and he chose almost the complete opposite of the liberal justice, replacing her with conservative Amy Coney Barrett. The only thing these two have in common is they are both women, as Barrett aids the decline of women’s rights.
This is most clearly seen with the recent passing of the Texas abortion ban that prohibits abortion six weeks after a woman misses her period, making it the most extensive abortion ban since the Roe v. Wade ruling. This is before most women even know they are pregnant and directly defies precedents set by Roe v. Wade in 1973.
This instills fear that other abortion bans will follow as an emergency order filed by the American Civil Justice Union was overruled by Barrett and other conservative justices in a 5-4 vote. Lawsuits are being filed to stop the bill, but for now, it is enforced and there is fear that in these lawsuits, the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, marking a decline in women’s rights.
There is a valid fear that women’s rights are on the decline, but this does not undermine the work RBG did for women. No matter what the conservative Supreme Court chooses to do, RBG will always be remembered for her great work for women and other marginalized communities. Her supporters will continue her fight for equality.
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