Connecticut leaders mourn death of Ginsburg
As the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday night rocked the nation, Connecticut leaders remembered the trailblazing justice as a titan of American law and inspiration to millions.
Ginsburg died Friday at her home in Washington of complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was 87.
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a giant. The world is a different place because of her,” U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Friday night. “More than the laws she forged are the lives she touched. She was soft-spoken and slight in stature, but packed a mighty punch. She will always be a uniquely American icon – breaking barriers with courage and conviction, and letting nothing stop her from the classroom to the courtroom.”
Gov. Ned Lamont ordered U.S. and Connecticut flags be lowered to half-staff to mark Ginsburg’s death. He remembered her as “a fierce and fiery champion for fairness and equality for all.”
“A giant inspiration and pioneer for women globally, Justice Ginsburg should not just be remembered for what she stood for but what she stood against," Lamont said. "Our nation is greater for her tenacity, dissension, and adversity against injustice. As Justice Ginsburg put it best, ‘there will be enough women on the court when there are nine.’”
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz was personally inspired by Ginsburg to enter the legal profession when Bysiewicz was a child. Ginsburg was a contemporary of Shirley Raissi Bysiewicz, the lieutenant governor’s mother, who herself blazed a trail for women in law as the first female tenured law professor at the University of Connecticut.
“She inspired many women, including me, to enter the legal profession,” Bysiewicz said. “She showed the entire world that with perseverance and tenacity there is no obstacle you can’t overcome. She fought for all of us because she believed in the promise of our nation. Let us honor her legacy by continuing her fight for freedom, equality, and civil rights.”
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, of Connecticut’s 2nd District, echoed the late justice’s importance as pioneering woman in law.
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life was about shattering barriers for women, and all Americans who experience discrimination,” Courtney said. “She had an exquisite legal mind, and clarity of thought and word that she used powerfully to change this country for the better.”
Ginsburg’s death also immediately sparked a raging a political debate about the appropriate timing and procedure for filling her seat, which would have wide ranging legal and political ramifications. Analysts and lawmakers alike all immediately hearkened back to the U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s refusal to consider then-President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland because the nomination during an election year.
“As to the appointment of Justice Ginsberg’s successor, I couldn’t improve on what Mitch McConnell said after Justice Scalia’s death: The American people must have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president," Blumenthal said.
“This close to the election, there is no way that the United States Senate can or should act before the voters decide.”