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Supreme Court loses champion for equality with passing of Ruth Bader-Ginsburg

Voters must hold the line to defend her legacy of justice

The passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg struck all of us at the Michigan People’s Campaign very deeply. Her strength in the face of a challenge that surely would have struck down a lesser person was a source of inspiration. Since her many accomplishments will surely be listed in greater detail by people much more thoughtful than us, we will not attempt to do so now for fear that we might miss one of the many.

Instead, we would like to remember why she suffered so, for so long, for so many.

Like too many of us, Ginsburg expected Hillary Clinton to be elected President in 2016 and thought it only fitting that the first woman in the White House select her successor. It would have been a storybook ending to a storied career. It would have allowed her to ride gracefully into the sunset and enjoy her many memories and accomplishments in peace through her remaining years. But this was not the hand she was dealt.

So she would instead spend her last years battling against the Trump Administration’s horrific assault on our democracy. Justice Ginsburg knew that her time was short, and she dictated one last statement in which she declared that My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

As a woman of law, Ginsburg chose her words very carefully. She did not say the next president but rather a new president. Not this one. After sitting on the bench for years watching Mitch McConnell hold back judicial appointments, even refusing to grant a hearing to a Supreme Court nominee for nearly a year, then flooding hundreds of seats with unqualified jurists once the presidency was in Republican hands, it was more than she could bear to imagine that her death might be his final reward.

Even as you read this, McConnell is seeking to fill her seat on the bench, not just during an election year but while people are still voting. Although his hypocrisy is stunning, we must not pause for even a moment to be horrified by it. There is much work to be done and little time left to do it. It will not be enough to replace the President; we must win it all. We will not get another chance.

The Senate must be wrestled away from the Majority Leader by replacing any of his colleagues who did not vote to remove the President sooner. The nation must be placed back on its moorings and the institutions we have relied upon, from the DOJ to the CDC, must be reinforced. The road ahead is long and the struggle great, but it is nothing compared to what the Notorious RBG went through to get us this far.

We at the Michigan People’s Campaign believe that Ginsburg’s death should be as much an inspiration to us as her life. “Fight for the things that you care about,” she once said. “but do it in a way that will lead others to join you." It will not be enough to cast your ballot at your first opportunity, September 24th, nor even to make sure everyone you know has mailed in their absentee ballot by November 2nd. You and everyone you know must stay engaged after the election to make sure this important work is completed. It is the least we can do for Ruth after all she has done for us.

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