The Humility of a Judicial Giant

Pretty much everything we take for granted, we shouldn’t.

For example, here are a few laws that I think are pretty important and I take them for granted:

Employers cannot discriminate against employees based on gender or reproductive choices.

State-funded schools must admit women.

Women have the right to financial independence and equal benefits.

Men are entitled to the same caregiving and Social Security rights as women.

Juries must include women.

It is quite possible that these taken-for-granted laws (along with many others) would not be in place without a woman named Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg passed away on September 18th and her legacy is nothing short of towering.  It includes not only women’s rights but also the environment, labor laws, immigration, and racial justice. 

What always struck me about her, however, was her remarkable humility.  She played such an enormous role in moving our society forward and yet felt she was simply doing her part; often not realizing why she was so important.  For example, she said that she wanted to be remembered as:

“Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has. To do something, as my colleague David Souter would say, outside myself. ‘Cause I’ve gotten much more satisfaction for the things that I’ve done for which I was not paid.”

How we need more of that sentiment!

Having set a precedent in refusing to confirm justice Merrick Garland at the end of the Obama administration, the Senate should delay any confirmation to replace Justice Ginsburg until after the election.  And whoever does replace her will hopefully personify the next chapter of the Supreme Court’s progressive hopes.

In Christ,

–Rev. Dominic