September 21, 2020

EME mourns the passing of Supreme Court Justice and Pioneering Women’s Rights Activist Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By Kamala, and EME team

Equal Means Equal mourns the passing of Supreme Court Justice and pioneering women’s rights activist Ruth Bader Ginsburg and vows to persevere to achieve full legal equality for America’s women & girls.

RBG notoriously wanted equality for women more than anything – and believed that America would be more perfect as a union when the statement that “men and women are persons of equal citizenship stature, is part of our fundamental instrument of government.”

This February, after Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, Justice Ginsburg was asked about its viability. Concerned that the politics around the expiration of the deadline on ERA would de-legitimize the recent wins in Nevada, Illinois and Virginia, she suggested advocates start the entire process over again.

The Bobblehead of RBG sits above EME President Kamala Lopez’s desk along with VP Natalie White’s Sisters of Liberty artwork

She had not yet heard our case. She was not privy to, nor did she weigh in on, the powerful arguments regarding the infringement of Congress on States’ rights by imposing deadlines on Constitutional amendments. She was not presented with the evidence that the contemporaneity issue referenced in Dillon v. Gloss was incinerated by the subsequent adoption of the 27th amendment in 1992, which took 203 years to complete ratification. She simply warned women that the politics was so toxic around the issue, that ERA wouldn’t make it right now if it came before the bench.

Those of us who had been working to execute the 3 State Strategy were understandably deeply bummed out by these remarks, coming as they did, at a pivotal moment in our fight for final ERA ratification and validation in the courts. But we were nonetheless determined to see the process through and be able to present our case to the highest court in the land.

Then the unthinkable happened.  On Friday September 18th, the notorious, extraordinary, ferociously intelligent feminist strategist and superhero we all counted on just couldn’t hang on for us any longer. She took her leave and left us bereft and deeply concerned about the future of women’s rights in present day America.

Given the political feeding frenzy taking place over replacing RBG, it is no surprise that Justice Ginsburg feared the political repercussions, should ERA be seen to have been achieved illegitimately.

RBG receiving a copy of Legalize Equality dvd from EME friend Jean Sweeney

We are in the midst of a cultural hurricane, a raging firenado which threatens to devour us in its fury.  The very fabric of our society is rending; its’ seams bulging with the painfully obvious inequities, injustices, institutional biases, discriminations and our utter refusal to accept them any longer.

If legal technicalities prevent ERA from being rightfully enshrined in our Constitution when 96% of the public believes in and supports sex equality then, again, public faith will erode in the system itself and the seismic social rumblings will continue to intensify and spill over into the streets.

If SCOTUS either:  1. doesn’t take up the ERA and refuses to address the critical questions raised or 2. rejects women’s bid for basic equality after a century of struggle, then I contend the court has lost its relevance and sadly must, like many of the other once-storied institutions crumbling around us, relinquish its authority and submit to a complete overhaul before the public can begin to take it seriously again.

The fight for ERA persists – like the spirit of our brilliant sister Ruth — through controversy and adversity, moving ever forward towards that more perfect union.

With love and thanks,

Kamala and the EME team

PS: Your generous tax-deductible contributions are an investment in our results-driven organization on the frontlines of the fight for equality. Any amount is greatly appreciated, but for donations of $500 or more we’ll send you our exclusive (and very popular!) handmade Equal Means Equal hoodie as a special thank you.