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Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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The United States Postal Service released a new Forever stamp honoring the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Oct. 2. The stamp’s unveiling took place at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery during a first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony that was open to the public.

Designed by Ethel Kessler, an art director for USPS, with a Michael J. Deas oil painting based on a photograph by Philip Bermingham, the stamp captures the 107th U.S. Supreme Court justice in her black judicial robe and favorite white-lace collar.

“Justice Ginsburg was an iconic figure who dedicated her life to public service and the pursuit of justice,” said USPS Board of Governors Chairman Roman Martinez IV. “She was a true pioneer, and it is our honor to celebrate her incredible legacy in this way. This stamp serves not just as a tribute but as an inspiration for future generations to uphold the values she fought for.”

Joining Martinez for the ceremony were Nina Totenberg, legal affairs correspondent at National Public Radio; Lori Dym, USPS procurement and property law managing counsel; Elizabeth Glazer, founder of the public safety nonprofit Vital City; and Ginsburg’s granddaughter Clara Spera, a lecturer at Harvard Law School and senior associate at WilmerHale.

The Ruth Bader Ginsburg stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp and is available in panes of 20 at select Post Office locations nationwide and at usps.com/shopstamps. Forever stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.

The stamp will serve as a lasting tribute to the Brooklyn native who has left an indelible impact on American jurisprudence and society at large.

Ginsburg’s multifaceted legacy includes the legal and social changes she helped to bring about; the example she set of tenacity and perseverance in the service of meaningful work; the inspiring passion that she brought to her dissents in defense of principles she held dear; and the countless people — young and old, men and women — who view her as a role model.

About Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ginsburg was a lifelong trailblazer as a woman in a male-dominated field, a law professor, an expert on anti-discrimination and equal protection law, and a judge who was unafraid to dissent from her colleagues in steadfast defense of her principles.

In a distinguished career that began as an activist lawyer fighting gender discrimination, Ginsburg was a respected jurist whose strong dissents on socially controversial rulings made her an icon of American culture.

President Bill Clinton nominated her to serve as a Supreme Court justice in 1993, and she subsequently earned praise for her pragmatism and willingness to build consensus. After a 2007 decision upholding a federal abortion procedure ban, she took the unusual step of reading her dissent aloud from the bench, a practice she continued with greater frequency during her second decade on the court.

In 2011, she received an honorary law degree from Harvard, which she attended for two of the three years of her legal education. In 2012, she was the subject of a panel discussion at Yale Law School prior to being named the first Gruber Distinguished Lecturer in Women’s Rights. In 2013, an issue of the Harvard Law Review included several warm tributes to her jurisprudence, and she received the Radcliffe Medal from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University in 2015 for her role as a socially transformative figure.

In 2013, a popular blog created by a New York University law student elevated Ginsburg to the status of “Notorious R.B.G.” — a humorous play on the name of late rapper the Notorious B.I.G. — and further enshrined her as an icon of American popular culture. In 2016, Ginsburg and two biographers published “My Own Words,” which became an immediate New York Times bestseller. The 2018 documentary “RBG” brought additional attention to her life and work, and another film released that year, “On the Basis of Sex,” dramatized Ginsburg and her husband arguing her first discrimination case in the 1970s.

Ginsburg was a lifelong fan of opera, and during her time on the bench she came to be seen as one of the country’s foremost promoters of the art form. In 2015 she attended the debut of a one-act operatic comedy that dramatized her friendship with fellow Supreme Court justice and opera lover Antonin Scalia, a conservative with whom she frequently disagreed on legal matters.

During her Supreme Court years, Ginsburg battled cancer several times but always insisted on returning to the bench as quickly as possible after treatments. Even as she became more visibly frail, her determination to stick to her rigorous, much-publicized daily workout routine and her regular, relentless schedule of work earned her ever greater admiration as she demonstrated her endurance and the strength of her commitment to causes she had championed for a lifetime.

Ginsburg died at the age of 87 on Sept. 18, 2020, at her home in Washington, DC, of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer.

After Ginsburg’s death, she lay in repose for two days at the Supreme Court — outdoors due to COVID-19 restrictions at the time — after which, during a private ceremony, she was the first woman to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

It’s difficult to comprehend that women didn’t always have the rights that they have now, and many of those rights were only gained a few short decades ago.

Imagine when women weren’t able to open a bank account, have credit cards or a mortgage without a man’s signature until the passing of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act in 1974. Considering a woman founded our media company in 1976 and still sits in the publisher’s seat, the thought is unfathomable to many of us.

One of the trailblazers who worked for women’s rights to manage their own finances and their own lives was Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She accomplished this feat as the co-founder of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. The void her death leaves behind is immense. Let us remember all the work that’s been done and is still being fought for true equality. Now with her seat locked in political turmoil, we believe her legacy needs to be respected more than ever.

What we need to remember is sometimes the champion for equal rights, Ginsburg, needed to represent men to work toward the goal of all being treated equally. In 1972, Ginsburg argued in front of the Supreme Court when she and her husband represented Charles Moritz, a bachelor who was unable to take a tax deduction for taking care of his sick mother as a woman or a divorced/widowed man would have been able to do. It was an ingenious tactic, showing how any discrimination on the basis of sex was harmful to the whole, rather than one select group. Throughout her career, Ginsburg was the champion of many causes that have had a positive effect on both men and women of all colors and orientations. She believed that everyone has a right to vote, to access health care including birth control, to obtain an abortion, and that when two people of the same sex fall in love, they have the right to get married just like everyone else.

Replacing Ginsburg will be no easy task, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. President Donald Trump (R) said he will nominate a woman to the seat and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) is eagerly waiting in the wings for the process to begin, despite arguing in 2016 that Supreme Court nominees should not be put to the bench in an election year. He and other Senate Republicans did not even hold a hearing for former President Barack Obama’s (D) court pick Merrick Garland that year. It’s the kind of House Rules situation you would expect more from a shady casino owner than the highest legislature in the land. It’s the kind of political skullduggery that does irrevocable lasting harm to democracy itself.

Locally, vigils held by two separate left-wing groups on Long Island’s North Shore have called for Ginsburg’s replacement to wait until after the election, and we’re inclined to agree. The dangerous precedent the U.S. Senate has engendered goes well beyond politics, but to the heart of democracy itself. There cannot be one rule for one party and another rule for the other, effectively eschewing several basic tenets of the Constitution.

There is a reason Ginsburg held on for so long, much longer than any of us would have stayed in such a stressful and high-profile position despite having five bouts with the cancer that eventually led to her death. One of her last statements dictated before her death was, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

The American value of equality for all is one that seems to be lost in our divisive times. We must honor Ginsburg’s legacy by remembering this ideal by moving toward the future and not slipping back to the 1950s where it was believed that women were only capable of being, as the saying goes, barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. If that were true, we would have never experienced people like RBG.

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Progressive groups stood at the corner of Route 112 and Route 347, sometimes called “resistance corner” Sept. 20 to honor the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18, and protest Senate Republicans’ efforts to fill her seat.

At the rally called Our Bodies, Our Courts!, protesters said Republicans are hypocritically pushing a new candidate onto the bench despite those same members saying in 2016 that there should be no supreme court nominations in an election year. Rally-goers said they were concerned about the chance a more conservative court could end the ability for women to get abortions or overturn the Affordable Care Act.

The crowd of about 50 were joined by Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) and local Democratic candidates including Nancy Goroff, who is running for the New York District 1 House of Representatives Seat and Laura Jens-Smith, who is running for New York State Assembly District 2.