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  • Sen. Mia McLeod

Notorious RBG

I’m sure Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg felt as though she carried the weight and fate of a nation on her shoulders.

As one of only four women who now serve in the South Carolina Senate, the heaviness that she obviously felt as she tried to hold on until November is not lost on me.

Fighting for equal rights and equal justice is all too familiar, especially here in SC where our rights and freedoms as women are constantly under attack by our predominantly male legislature. Even centuries after my ancestors were enslaved and decades after our fight for equal rights, Black Lives still don’t Matter.

It’s no secret that during a public health crisis of epic proportions, “pro-birth” Republicans across our state would rather try to secure their re-elections by pandering and prioritizing issues like abortion instead of confronting COVID-19, racism, voter suppression, healthcare access or the fleecing of ratepayers by the utilities that purport to serve them.

Appointed to the United States Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, Justice Ginsburg has impacted the lives of every woman and person of color in this country. It’s unfortunate that even in her final days, her peace was undoubtedly interrupted by the pleas of a weary nation...still grappling with racial, economic, environmental and social injustices, health care disparities, gender inequities, biases, bigotry, discrimination and a global pandemic that exacerbates all of these systemic ills and more.

She knew that “where there’s no vision, the people perish.” She understood that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” So even as her own mortality was imminent, she was just as courageous…just as candid...just as compassionate…just as compelling…and still, just as concerned about the future of this country as all of us are and should be.

Justice Ginsburg’s final wish was that she would “not be replaced until a new President is installed.” For many of us, the “Notorious R.B.G.” can never be replaced.

But what we can do and what the President, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Lindsey Graham should do, is honor her life and legacy by retreating from the flagrant hypocrisies that have become the hallmarks of Trump’s power-hungry hyper-partisan Republican Party.

This Administration set the precedent. Now, Senators Graham and McConnell refuse to be governed by the very rules they created and enforced in 2016…nine months before the 2016 Presidential Election, when President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia.

Just four years ago, Sen. McConnell refused to have a Senate confirmation hearing because, “the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice.”

I couldn’t agree more.

This warrior, trailblazer and American shero fought tirelessly for liberty, justice and equality for all. And after 27 years, Justice Ginsburg deserves to Rest in Eternal Peace and Power.

But, we can’t rest. It’s time for us to FIGHT like we’ve never fought before and VOTE like our very lives and liberties depend on it.

Because this time, they really do…

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