by C. Garrett Keidel, Social Media Editor
I think that the evening of Friday, September 18, 2020, was a national evening of grief. As the notifications and news began circulating that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg had passed, sorrow and uneasiness intensified with the loss of a powerhouse in America’s highest court.
Ginsberg was an inspiration to many, becoming the second ever female to be nominated and confirmed to the bench. Her fiery liberal dissents brought pop culture notoriety, and her defense of women’s and LGBT rights will be a part of her tremendous legacy that American’s will be able to exercise.
For many, her passing not only came as a shock, but also a gut punch to an already intense election year. She will be mourned for her progressive leadership on the bench of the Supreme Court, and she will surely be mourned by the staff of the Quadrangle.
I know for myself, I will forever be thankful for her defense of same-sex marriage in 2015. To be granted equality after a decades long fight from those that walked before me,will always always have the greatest impact on my personal life.
And I join the many who will be feeling uneasy in how this will have an impact on democracy, and our current political climate. The possible rushing of a nomination and confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice during an Election year, and the effect it could possibly have are of great concern.
Below are statements made by fellow staff and masthead members. We want to honor the life of RBG, and express our thoughts on how she has impacted our lives, and the lives of millions of Americans. May she rest in power.
“It’s undeniable that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a force of nature. However, she was also a woman who was ill but worked and worked until her dying days.
I don’t need to sit here and list out all of the ways she defended the right to a safe and legal abortion, nor do I need to remind everyone of her ruling on the case on same-sex marriage. She may not have been perfect, or maybe you may not have agreed with every ruling of hers, but a number of RBG’s rulings have positively affected the lives of numerous people, and her career path alone has changed the lives of numerous young girls who saw someone they could aspire to be like.
The thing that weighs heaviest on my heart in her passing is we are not mourning her as a person, but as a force and last defense of democracy. In recent years, it seemed that democracy itself had come to rest on her shoulders. And now, I cannot help but feel overwhelmed.
I don’t have the words to describe how it feels to lose someone who fought so hard to maintain and protect simple, basic human rights in such a tumultuous time; I know I am not the only one struggling with this.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I am so grateful that someone as inspiring and dedicated as RBG served us for as long as she did. She is quoted as saying, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time” and if we are to honor her legacy, the best thing we can do is follow her lead and keep taking steps forward.
We can keep going where she was leading us, and we can go much further past that too. But today, and in these coming days, as we keep taking steps forward, as we honor her life, as we fight for a fair and democratic process and a just replacement process, let us also mourn her and miss her for the woman that she was on the bench and also off of it.”
“RBG was a powerhouse. She showed that women not only deserved a seat at the table, but could take that seat and change the world.
She pushed for change and fought for what she believed in with grace and dignity, all while holding planks for longer than I ever could. RBG showed women that it won’t be easy, but if you work hard enough and show the world what you can do, there is nothing a woman can’t do.
It is my hope that we continue her fight for not only a better nation, but a better world, so that little girls can continue to understand that they can be anything they want to be. I was once that little girl and it is because of brilliant women like her that I had the courage to follow my own dreams, to write for this paper and demand my voice be heard, just as Ruth showed me I could.
Her legacy will not be forgotten and it is my hope that people utilize their vote this November to ensure it doesn’t. We at least owe her that much.”
“It was one of those moments where I will forever remember the time and place of receiving the news of RBG’s death. It came as a complete shock. My first thought was that it couldn’t be real, it had to be fake. RBG was invincible, and we had her forever. The notion of her death was inconceivable to me.
I immediately texted my mom to tell her the news, and she answered me with this: There will always be a RBG as long as there are good people in the world. RBG’s legacy will only live on if we continue to do what she so strongly encouraged us to do, fight for what we believe in and do it in a way that will lead others to join. So let us do just that.”