The Notorious R.B.G will be remembered fondly after making waves for gender equality


Courtesy / Steve Petteway

Lanthorn Editorial Board

As the world reacts to the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, people are celebrating ways that represent her impact on the country with songs, murals and writing. 

One of the most profound of these celebrations depicts R.B.G. donning a crown quaffed off the center of her head; an homage to the late George Latore Wallace, also known as the Notorious B.I.G.

It’s a superficial connection, but the representation of Ginsburg as a titan among Supreme Court Justices is appropriate– Ginsburg earning her a rightful crown as the country reflects on her memory.

Ginsburg championed gender equality while also being described by many as the Thurgood Marshall of women’s rights.

Ginsburg served on the Supreme Court for 27 years and quickly became one of its most prominent members.

Even though her tenure with the highest court in the land didn’t start until 1993, she started to make waves in the 1970s, back when discrimination against women was sanctioned by law. She fought long and hard to reverse that treatment.

She first made her mark in 1971, when she wrote her first Supreme Court brief in the case of Reed v. Reed. Ginsburg represented Sally Reed, who thought she should be the executor of her late son’s estate instead of her ex-husband.

The all-male Supreme Court concluded that a state could not automatically prefer men over women as an executor of state, and it was the first time that the court struck down a state law because it discriminated on the basis of gender.

In her tenure, Ginsburg faced to Chief Judges who determined that sex decriminalization was not of Constitutional concern. But in 1975, she represented a young widower who was denied benefits after his wife died in childbirth, setting a precedent to give Social Security protections to single parents. 

We feel the RBG effect here on campus and in our lives apart from it. Female students of GVSU don’t need a man present to sign the leases to their apartments, which was another one of the many stipulations Ginsburg fought so hard to correct.

Ginsburg also shouldered an incredibly unfair burden; with her gone, parties are already waging a partisan war to seed a Supreme Court with a political lean. Even in her passing, there is a call to take action.

As the country observes a brief moment of silence for her passing, the conversation will shift to how we can continue to fight for the betterment of the country and the preservation of democracy like Ginsburg. 

This week is National Voter Registration Week at GVSU, and National Voter Registration Day is nationally celebrated Sept. 22. People around the country are fighting for causes like social equity, voting accessibility and defending Constitutional rights. 

Honoring Ginsburg’s legacy may come in the somber, remorseful and reflective tone we’re used to, but students and beyond can carry on her torch where she left off. 

With a full life of challenging the status quo, fighting against pushback and striving for equality, Ginsburg’s crown was shifted and shaken but never removed. May we have the drive to pick it up where she left it. Rest in power, R.B.G.