On September 18, the country mourned when Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. RBG was a pillar of our courts and a political and cultural icon. She had battled illnesses, including multiple bouts of cancer, for years without missing a beat on the job.
Since the 1970s, and as the second woman to ever be appointed to the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has served as a leader in the fight for women’s rights. She has used her position, brains, and moral integrity to challenge social norms and reimagine a more just, equal, and fair society for all. She has shattered countless glass ceilings and defended underrepresented communities time and time again.
Her passing presents the opportunity for President Trump to nominate a replacement, with a Republican Senate likely to confirm the candidate (despite the blatant hypocrisy following Republicans’ blocking of Merrick Garland in 2016). This person would shift the Supreme Court for decades to come, putting everything RBG fought for at risk.
In the 72 hours since her passing, we have seen 300,000 signups across our platform. Volunteers are phone banking, writing letters to representatives, reaching out to voters, and more. Every action taken honors Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s memory and continues her fight for a better world.
She fought for all of us. It’s our turn to continue the fight. Below are a few ways you can take a stand in her memory:
How she fought for women’s rights:
In United States v. Virginia (1996), RBG wrote the majority opinion that struck down Virginia Military Institute’s all-male admissions policy, making it clear that gender equality is a constitutional right.
In Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (2007), RBG famously dissented to the ruling against Ledbetter, who had suffered pay disparities due to her gender. She pressed Congress to amend the clause of Title VII which had led to the ruling. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pair Act was the first bill signed by President Barack Obama when he took office two years later.
In Whole Woman’s Healthy v. Hellerstedt (2016), Texas’s Omnibus Abortion Bill (H.B. 2) tried to impose unnecessary restrictions and requirements on abortion providers, ultimately making it more difficult for women to receive safe and legal procedures. RBG made it clear in her statements that the court wouldn’t take kindly to future attacks on abortion providers.
How you can fight for women’s rights:
With NARAL: NARAL is a non-profit organization that works to protect a woman’s right to choose. By engaging in lobbying, political action, and advocacy efforts, they expand access to abortion, birth control, and other women’s causes.
With Planned Parenthood: Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health care. Their services allow women of all incomes to find safe and affordable treatments for a variety of health issues
With Women’s March Action: A brainchild of the Women’s March, they “are committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity and respect.”
How she fought for marriage equality:
Not only was RBG a former officiant of same-sex weddings and an advocate for LBGTQ+ rights, but in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), she called out regressive attitudes towards marriage. It is believed that her outspokenness led to the 5-4 ruling in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
How you can fight for marriage equality:
With The Human Rights Campaign: The Human Rights Campaign is the largest LGBTQ+ advocacy group and political lobbying organization in the United States. Volunteers for Human Rights Campaign will work on important elections, learn about candidates, and more.
With Equality NC: “Equality NC is the largest LGBT rights advocacy group and political lobbying organization in North Carolina and is the oldest statewide LGBT equality organization in the United States.”
With Equality AZ: “Equality Arizona is a statewide political advocacy organization in Arizona that advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, including same-sex marriage.”
How she protected our environment
In Friends of the Earth v. Laidlaw Environmental Services (2000), RBG delivered the 7-2 decision in favor of Friends of the Earth who filed a lawsuit against Laidlaw Environmental Services after its wastewater treatment plant failed to limit mercury discharges into river water.
How you can protect our environment
With Sierra Club: With 3.8 million members and supporters, the Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States.
With The League of Conservation Voters (LCV): LCV is an American environmental advocacy group that "advocatesfor sound environmental laws and policies, holds elected officials accountable for their votes and actions, and elects pro-environment candidates.”
With Sunrise Movement: “Sunrise is a movement of young people uniting to stop the climate crisis. They’re recruiting a volunteer army of thousands to shake up the 2020 elections.”
How she protected our right to vote
In Bush v. Gore (2000), RBG famously dissented from the court’s favoring of Bush when questioning the continuation for a manual recount of the ballots in Florida.
In Shelby County v. Holder (2013), RBG wrote a blistering dissent of the 5-4 decision to throw out preclearance, which protected minority voters from suppression in several states, ultimately “gutting” the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
How you can protect our right to vote
With Fair Count: Founded by Stacey Abrams, “Fair Count is dedicated to partnering with Hard to Count (HTC)communities to achieve a fair and accurate count of all people in Georgia in the 2020 census and to strengthen pathways to greater civic participation.”
With When We All Vote: Founded by Michelle Obama, When We All Vote “is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that is on a mission to increase participation in every election and close the race and age voting gap by changing the culture around voting, harnessing grassroots energy, and through strategic partnerships to reach every American.”
With All On The Line: All On The Line fights for fair maps to restore fairness to our democracy and ensure every American has an equal say in our government.
Candidates to support
We are less than 50 days away from what could be the most important election of our lives. While the presidential election is on the top of everyone’s minds, congressional elections will also have an immeasurable impact on the country as well—especially Senate elections, because, in the end, they will be deciding who takes RBG’s seat.
Look for opportunities to volunteer with highly contested races in Kentucky, South Carolina, and more! Check out their Mobilize pages, linked below, to find volunteer shifts.
Get out the vote
Our voices are far too precious to waste! Take the time to check your voter registration status, request a vote-by-mail ballot, and exercise your democratic right to be heard. Encourage others around you to do the same.
Do not look back on November 4th wondering if you could have done more. Give back, volunteer, and vote to continue the fight. Do it for RBG.