All Americans should mourn the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday, September 18, 2020 at the age of 87.
Many of us had profound disagreements with her on matters jurisprudential, political, and moral. She was, nonetheless, an able lawyer, a conscientious judge, and one who did her best by her lights to be a faithful public servant.
I had the privilege of knowing her personally and arguing cases in front of her. She was unfailingly courteous and very bright. Nino Scalia considered her a friend. People who disagreed with one or the other of them about important things may have failed to notice that, as powerful as their disagreements with each other were, each recognized in the other a human, an American, and a colleague with a big heart.
Her late husband, Martin, predeceased her. She leaves a daughter, Jane, and a son, James, the latter of whom lives with his family in the Chicago area.
The question of who should fill the Ginsburg vacancy on the Court now rightly becomes an issue in the 2020 Presidential and Senate elections. The general issue was a favorable and decisive one for Candidate Trump in 2016. I am confident that the American people will decide that they would prefer to have Justice Ginsburg’s successor chosen by President Trump than by the available alternative.
Justice Ginsburg was my co-religionist. It is not lost on me that she died on the very threshold of the most sacred season of our year. Rosh Hashanah starts momentarily, as the sun goes down tonight, launching the year 5781 on the Hebrew calendar. I pray that Justice Ginsburg died, as we should all hope to die, at peace with God and with her conscience.
May the memory of Justice Ginsburg always be as a blessing.