Politics

Americans Mourning Ruth Bader Ginsburg Channel Despair Into Activism

As people flock to the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., to leave flowers and signs and mourn, many are channeling Ginsburg’s gumption to fight for a country that champions equality.

People gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court following the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in Washington, U.S., September 18, 2020. | Reuters
People gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court following the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in Washington, U.S., September 18, 2020. | Reuters

In the wake of the colossal loss following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to ever sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, politicians, voters, and journalists are sharing tributes and calls to action. 

Ginsburg’s death on Friday at 87 is a searing national tragedy, in a country that has reeled from the deaths of hundreds of thousands during a pandemic, as well as division and fear stoked by a president hellbent on appealing to voters whose very interests are at odds with Ginsburg’s progressive legacy on the Court. Ginsburg, the first Jewish woman to ever sit on the nation’s highest court, died at the Jewish New Year.  

During an election year, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to reverse his 2016 course and put a justice nominee selected by President Trump up for a vote, the grief of Ginsburg’s death can be expressed in the same breath as fear and anger over the looming political bloodbath that will be selecting her replacement. 

Nevertheless, as Americans flock to the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., to leave flowers and signs and mourn, many are channeling Ginsburg’s gumption to fight for a country that upholds the rights of all people, especially women, as well access to voting that too many Americans, mostly Black and brown, have historically been denied. 

As Dahlia Lithwick, who covers courts and law, wrote in Slate on the night of Ginsburg’s death: “Notorious RBG would have peered owlishly out at all of us tonight and asked what the heck we are waiting for. And I think we can probably honor her best by getting to it.” And as “Notorious RBG” author and journalist Irin Carmon reported, Ginsburg wanted to be remembered as: "Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has."

Here are some of the tributes and calls to action after the beloved icon known as “Notorious RBG” died: