Sure, it’s someone’s birthday today (Boy George, Che Guevara, and Harriet Beecher Stowe … and some orange dude), but we come today not to sing “Happy Birthday” (not paying royalties) or to wave a flag (it’s Flag Day), or even to crank a Jack-in-the-box (it’s National Pop Goes the Weasel Day too).
We come to praise someone who has proven, with her intelligence, spunk and sense of humor, that you don’t need much more than a law degree and a stylish collar to drive certain hyperpartisans around the bend.
On this day in 1993, President Bill Clinton (fellow Arkie, and governor for a big part of my childhood) nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg to fill the seat of retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron White. Ginsburg, who was a co-founder of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project and won five of six gender-discrimination suits she argued before the Supreme Court between 1973 and 1976, is considered to have made significant legal advances for women under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. She was confirmed by a 96-3 vote to the court on Aug. 3, 1993, and took the oath of office a week later.
Wow, remember when court confirmations went through quickly?
Ginsburg’s legal knowledge is considerable (and her dissents blistering at times), but it’s her strength and humor, especially in the face of health challenges and political backlash, that have endeared her to so many (if you haven’t seen RBG, please do, and you’ll understand why she’s so admired) and has annoyed so many QAnon followers and other conspiracy nutjobs (when you’re constantly being intentionally misquoted and taken out of context, you know you’ve ticked them off).
Notorious RBG? Yes, please.