STAFF EDITORIAL: RBG’s legacy deserves a fight

Young voters cannot let Ginsberg’s rulings perish with her passing

Haley Breit

Ruth Bader Ginsberg helped shape the society that we live in today. The rights she fought to give us are taken for granted every day, but they shouldn’t; those rights may be taken away.
RBG died on September 18 at the age of 87 after serving on the Supreme Court since her nomination by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Following her death, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill that opening.
Barrett, a devout Catholic, is rumored to let her religious beliefs influence her political decisions. While religion has next to nothing to do with an individual’s aptitude in politics, eyebrows will be raised when those religious beliefs start to infiltrate our country’s political values and laws.
The likelihood of certain rights that Ruth Bader Ginsberg worked so hard to give us being taken away is higher than most would like to admit.
Before RBG, state funded universities didn’t have to admit women. After the 1996 decision of US vs. Virginia, the long standing male-only admission policy was struck down. Ginsberg was part of this decision.
Before RBG, women couldn’t sign a mortgage or have a bank account without a male co-signer. Ginsberg was one of the lawyers who fought for the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, which prohibits discrimination in credit transactions based on race, religion, marital status, and gender.
Before RBG, same sex marriage was illegal. Ginsberg was a deciding vote in the 2015 case of Obergefell v. Hodges. Because of her vote, the LGBTQ+ community was granted the right to same sex marriage in all 50 states. Without Ginsberg, this case could have turned out very differently.
Before RBG, men weren’t entitled to the same caregiving and social security rights as women. The case Moritz v. Commissioner in 1972 helped change that. Charles Moritz had claimed a tax deduction for the cost of a caregiver for his mother but the Internal Revenue Servicedenied that deduction. The law at the time allowed that specific deduction but only for women and formerly married men. Moritz was neither of those. Ginsberg represented Moritz in this case. It was later ruled that the IRS had violated the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution and RBG won the case.

Before RBG, juries did not include women. Up until 1979, jury duty was optional for women and many argued that women should be exempt from it altogether because of their family and household responsibilities. Ginsberg believed that women’s civic duties should be as valued as mens and so she fought to require juries to include women.
After RBG, there is uncertainty about many rights and if we will be able to keep them. A woman’s right to choose is among the most important of those.
Ginsberg’s spot on the Supreme Court protected Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that ruled that a woman’s choice to have an abortion will be protected by the United States Constitution. With RBG gone, that decision could be overruled.
To fight this, young voters need to go to the polls and use their voice. People who can’t vote yet can volunteer with local political groups and sign up to work the polls on Nov. 3. We can’t afford to go back in time and reverse all of the things Ruth Bader Ginsberg fought so hard to give us.