POLITICS

'Notorious RBG' Co-Author Honors 'Optimistic' Ginsburg Who Believed We Could Be Better

The "tragic and sickening" irony is that the legendary feminist could be replaced by the "rankest misogynist," laments journalist Irin Carmon.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was honored in a moving tribute Friday by “Notorious RBG” co-author Irin Carmon as a dedicated, optimistic feminist and jurist who believed in our better selves.

But upon her death on Friday, Ginsburg’s accomplishments are now haunted by the dark shadow of an administration intent on laying waste to her work, the journalist said.

“Only someone so stubborn and single-minded, someone so in love with the work, could have accomplished what she did — as a woman, survived discrimination and loss; as a lawyer, compelled the Constitution to recognize that women were people; as a justice, inspired millions of people in dissent,” Carmon wrote in New York Magazine. 

Despite her dedicated toil, Ginsburg “lived long enough” to see President Donald Trump and the “Federalist Society tear away the thin veneer of the Court’s legitimacy,” Carmon lamented, referring to the organization that has helped place staunch conservatives throughout the federal judiciary.

“The feminist with a fundamentally optimistic view, who believed that people, especially men, could be better, might soon be replaced by the rankest misogynist,” Carmon warned. Ginsburg’s work is “not only unfinished, but at risk of being undone,” she added.

Carmon delves into Ginsburg’s life in the article, including the loss of her little sister, her mother before her high school graduation, and later her husband. She reveals Ginsburg’s focus, steady work and ideals.

Ginsburg discovered in her extensive reading of legal decisions that the law “had for a century enshrined discrimination by treating it as a favor, the same thing she’d been told her whole life,” Carmon wrote. Ginsburg would co-found the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union and launch a lifetime of work to “transform the constitutional understanding of gender,” Carmon noted.

Ginsburg’s perspective on reproductive choice and women’s right to abortion stands as memorably succinct. When asked about it during her Supreme Court nomination hearings in 1993, she responded: “This is something central to a woman’s life, to her dignity. It’s a decision that she must make for herself. When government controls that decision for her, she’s being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.” 

Carmon’s co-author of “Notorious RBG,” public defender Shana Knizhnik, reacted with a single word to Ginsburg’s death, “Gutted.”

Read Carmon’s full article here.

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