Westchester, Rockland honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Westchester and Rockland counties will honor the life and legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at the age of 87. 

Rallies are planned for 3 p.m. Saturday in front of the Rockland Courthouse and 6:30 p.m. Sunday outside the District Court Building in White Plains.  

USA TODAY: Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Second woman on Supreme Court had been nation’s leading litigator for women’s rights

Diane Lang, from West Nyack attends a memorial for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the steps of the Rockland County Courthouse in New City on Saturday, September 19, 2020.

A pivotal figure in the fight for women’s rights in the 1970s, Ginsburg was appointed to the nation’s highest court by then President Bill Clinton in 1993 and became a role model for many of today’s political leaders. 

Longtime U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey said the iconic judge was “small in stature” but “a giant on the highest court in the land, an icon for women’s rights, the hero of little girls, an historic figure whose service to justice often reflected the conscience of our country.”

“Few in our history have done more than Justice Ginsburg to secure a just society where every person, without regard to gender, should have equal rights under the law,” Lowey said. “As we mourn her death at a time of unspeakable threats to the very democracy whose full potential she fought to achieve, we commit to preserve her legacy and heed the lessons she taught us, never taking our voices, our rights, our votes for granted.”

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Hillary Clinton said on Twitter that Ginsburg’s death is a “devastating personal loss for so many.”

“But more than that, it is a devastating loss for our country,” Clinton Tweeted. “Her memory is already a blessing. May it also be a call to continue her work for justice and equality under the law.”

New York State Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement that Ginsburg was “a lifelong warrior in the fight to ensure justice and equality for all Americans.”

“Justice Ginsburg’s remarkable legacy, her resolute dignity, her profound sense of justice, and her unwavering desire to do what is right will forever serve as inspiration for the very girls and women she spent her life fighting for,”  James said. “We must honor her legacy by standing firm in the beliefs she held on to until the very end. Rest in peace, Justice Ginsburg, and thank you for balancing the scales of justice day by day, and case by case.”

Ian Fletcher-Strati, 7, from Valley Cottage places flowers at a memorial for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the steps of the Rockland County Courthouse in New City on Saturday, September 19, 2020.

The beauty and reverence of the local and national celebrations of her life as a trailblazer and an icon is expected to be followed by an ugly and tumultuous battle to replace her. 

This gives President Donald Trump and the Senate Republicans a chance to seize conservative control of the Supreme Court.

The USA Today reported that Trump is expected to nominate a replacement as soon as next week, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., immediately vowed to hold a Senate confirmation vote.

USA TODAY: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies, setting up nomination fight

But it generally takes more than two months to reach that point, which would put Republicans beyond Election Day, when their 53-47 majority is in jeopardy, the USA Today said. 

Sen. Chuck Schumer Tweeted that Ginsburg’s replacement shouldn’t be appointed until after the election. 

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” Schumer said on Twitter. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

But at least for this weekend, the politics should be put aside. 

As Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino said Friday night, “We pause tonight to remember and honor the life and legacy of one of America’s greatest jurists.

A memorial for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the steps of the Rockland County Courthouse in New City on Saturday, September 19, 2020.

“Justice Ginsburg was a native New Yorker who found her passion in fighting for the civil rights of all by focusing on gender equality, forcing America to reckon with injustices on the basis of sex,” Scarpino said. “She committed the final decades of her life to make America better and gave all of us something to strive for.

“To say Justice Ginsburg will be missed is not enough,” Scarpino said. “Instead, we thank her for all that she gave us, especially those of us on the Bench and before the Bar. Her words and opinions will carry us through the generations.”

Christopher J. Eberhart covers breaking news. Click here for his latest stories. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisEberhart2. Check out how to support local journalism here.