The death of U.S. Supreme Count Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shocked the country, Even though she battled a number of health issues in recent years, her passing came as a surprise. Appointed by President Clinton in 1993, she had been a consistent voice for equality and women throughout the land hailed her for often leveling the playing field for females.
Accolades from both Democrats and Republicans echoed throughout the country.
It was remarkable to me that after her death Friday night, hundreds and hundreds of citizens gathered in front of the nation’s Supreme Court building to pay their respects, at one point uniting in singing Amazing Grace.
But what really got my attention was her great relationship with the late Justice, Anthony Scalia.
Philosophically they could not have been farther apart. More often than not, their opinions were at opposite ends of the spectrum. However, this did not prevent them from having a genuine respect and admiration for one another. One of their bonds was a great love of opera.
One of her former law clerks talked of how close their relationship was and that Scalia always came to her office to sing Happy Birthday to her.
What a contrast this is in these days when winning is the only thing that seems to matter in politics. Rather than seeking common ground, those on the other side of a political divide must be vilified and conquered. Campaigns are viscous, take no prisoner affairs. Truth is thrown out the window.
And how well I know this to be true. When I ran for a seat on the Montgomery County school board in 2018, my primary opponent’s ENTIRE campaign was to trash me with phone calls and mail. When this is what happens in a local school board race is it any wonder that such lack of tolerance and civility is vastly escalated in bigger campaigns?
Unfortunately the nation lost an outstanding jurist with the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Just as it did when Judge Scalia passed away.)
While they passionately disagreed on their interpretations of the law, they did show us a great example of respect and dignity.