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Ruth Bader Ginsburg memorial spotlights inspiring legacy and painful present

The pioneering lawyer and jurist's career stands in stark contrast to the GOP supermajority that’s anathema to her legacy.


The Supreme Court is hosting a memorial Friday afternoon for late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It reminds us of the legendary civil rights lawyer and jurist’s legacy, as well as the current horror show made by possible by the GOP’s push to replace her with Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

You can watch the livestream here at 1:45 p.m. ET.

When Ginsburg died at 87 in September 2020, less than two months before Election Day, Republicans had a 5-4 majority on the court. Despite blocking then-Judge Merrick Garland from having a nomination hearing or vote in 2016 after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, supposedly because it was a presidential election year, the GOP rammed through President Donald Trump appointee Barrett’s confirmation before voters could reject Trump’s re-election. That gave Republicans a supermajority on the court, leading to the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year and the gruesome abortion-rights stories that continue through today.

Ginsburg’s career as a civil rights lawyer — women’s rights in particular — was legendary in its own right, even before she took the bench. She continued that work as a justice. So while hearing the well-deserved tributes that will no doubt emerge this afternoon, it will be difficult not to also think about the current court’s efforts, which stand in stark opposition to Ginsburg’s inspiring legacy.