“After mourning, we will fight”

The two statues embodying justice and authority, erected on either side of the steps leading to the entrance to the Supreme Court of the United States, have rarely seen so many flowers. Since the death of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a true icon in the United States, thousands of bouquets have accumulated around the High Court in Washington, where she sat until her death at 87, Friday, September 18, as a result of pancreatic cancer.

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In the midst of roses and sunflowers, sometimes picked directly from the green spaces of the American capital, appear messages of love and admiration addressed to the former judge. In chalk, on the ground, texts written by women, young and old, thank her for having served as a model. “We admired him. She recalled that, in this country, dignity and respect for the rights of everyone could still exist ”, testifies Raquel Guerrica-Goitia, who came, Saturday, September 19, with her son to tell him who was the one we nicknamed “RBG”.

An icon from the left

Chosen by Bill Clinton in 1993 to sit on the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has acquired legendary status within the American left. Small, frail, almost shy, she was nonetheless a fighter. The New York native, who lost her mother while still a high school student, rose to the top of her class at prestigious Harvard Law School while looking after her newborn baby and taking care of her newborn baby. notes her husband’s lessons, who fell ill, to make sure he doesn’t pick up.

During her career, she played with glass ceilings, becoming, file after file, a pioneer of gender equality and a champion of minorities. A fight that she will lead to the Supreme Court, where she becomes the darling of progressives for her personality and her values.

The Trump presidency only reinforced that stature: Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the subject of a documentary, Notorious RBG (allusion to the name of the rapper Notorious BIG to emphasize his badass side), a biopic released in 2018 and an operetta. In addition, there are countless products bearing her effigy, so many symbols of feminism that have become essential in any anti-Trump demonstration.

Democrats mobilized

Amina Moctrezada, 16, came to the Supreme Court with her two cousins ​​aged 12 and 15 to pay tribute to her: “As a young woman, I admire the figures who challenge what is expected of us”, she says. Even though she is not yet of voting age, Amina fully intends to roll up her sleeves before the November election to avoid Donald Trump’s appointment of a Tory replacement.

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Such an appointment would have profound consequences on hot topics of society, such as the possession of firearms, abortion or access to health. “Whoever he appoints, especially if they’re young, will be around for the rest of my life and the lives of my generation. We will suffer the ramifications of this choice for a long time ”, continues the teenager.

“I’m very scared”

Beside her, teacher Lynda Bashir and one of her friends photograph themselves with a copy of the American Constitution and flowers in hand. Not easy for them to make their way to the barriers surrounding the building, where bouquets have piled up alongside drawings and photos of the former judge since Friday evening.

“I’m very scared, she admits. If the court is seized with a possible challenge to the presidential election, and an additional Conservative judge sits there, we could end up with four more years of Donald Trump, as if Bush v. Gore kept telling himself “, she says. It refers to the decision of the Supreme Court which, on December 12, 2000, had de facto designated George W. Bush as the winner of the presidential election after a standoff with former Democratic Vice President Al Gore around the tight vote in Florida.

Like others she met before the Supreme Court, Lynda Bashir intends to pressure senators, responsible for validating presidential appointments to the High Court, by sending letters and phone calls to their constituents. In his sights: Colorado Senator Cory Gardner. In difficulty in his re-election campaign against Democrat John Hickenlooper before the November 3 ballot, which will decide on the partial renewal of the Senate, he did not take a position on Saturday on a possible vote to appoint a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Sarah Lambert, a mother worried about the future of abortion rights, which the religious right has wanted to eliminate through legal proceedings for years, gave money to Democratic candidates for the first time to win back the Senate . “I try to be optimistic, she emphasizes. The best way to honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg is to do what she has done all her life: be in the action. After the mourning we will fight. »

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