• Project Angel Island

The Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Political Impact

On September 18, 2020, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away from pancreatic cancer. Despite the numerous battles concerning her health, Ginsburg left a remarkable legacy for her country and for all future generations of women. From facing discrimination to fighting it in the court, Ginsburg truly was a warrior. In the words of Chief Justice John Roberts, “Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice."

For many women, the loss of Ginsburg is considered that of losing a hero. Ginsburg stood up for everyone of all genders, races, and sexual orientations. For example, the CEO of NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said “Justice Ginsburg was an incredibly accomplished civil rights lawyer who devoted her entire legal career to the pursuit of equal justice and eliminating discrimination of all types.” Moreover, many of Ginsburg’s accomplishments came unprecedented, which allowed her to pave the way for many other women alike. In essence, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a national symbol of feminism and equality that everyone of all ages has come to venerate.

In order to cope with such a tragic loss, various demonstrations have spurred nationwide to honor the Supreme Court Justice. On the night of Ginsburg’s death, mourners packed in front of the Supreme Court to hold a candlelight vigil. “We, as citizens, have a responsibility to mourn her, and stand together and show that we care about human life, which is something I think we’ve lost in the last six months,” stated award-winning author, David Means. In addition to the vigil, the crowds also began to sing “Amazing Grace” at dusk, showing their dedication and fervor. In other places, such as Portland, Oregon, masses marched, and in others such as Waco, Texas, a group held a vigil where they had an 87-second moment of silence (one second for each year of Ginsburg’s life). While the memorials were in no way uniform, each place had their own way of grieving the beloved lawyer.

In the wake of Ginsburg’s death also lies many unanswered questions when it comes to politics. The death of a Supreme Court Justice leaves a gap for another, which can result in another conservative member. With this possible arrival, there are concerns about the security of the rights to abortion and other emergency contraceptives. As uncertainty looms over the rights of many women, it is without a doubt that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg is a national loss, and her life will continue to be honored for generations to come.


Robin Bank

Writer and Graphic Designer


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