I write legal decisions for a living. I am a 2002 graduate from Wayne State University Law School where constitutional law became my law of choice. In light of that, I always loved Justice Antonin Scalia, despite most often not agreeing with him, but being in awe of his masterfully and magically written decisions that often read like fine poetry without the meter. I particularly loved the dance he and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg did in written word. Her dissents often unwrapped his words like they were fine chocolate not to be broken or marred, but then suddenly devoured once naked. His would seem to ooze vitriol, throwing hot lava on her cool simplicity. They were an interesting pair. But she was something special. She was smart and calculated in how she highlighted sex discrimination in her career, and how she promoted humanity and equity through her court decisions. Her brand of female liberalism was injected with a passion to expose and end sexism and see women’s rights championed and not kicked and trampled over by a court full of men. If a pen was a choppa, she “kicked in the door waving the .44.” She was notorious indeed!
My absolute favorite decision of hers is her dissent in Bush v. Gore. In the 2000 Florida recount case , y’all remember the hanging and dangling chads, she stated … “The extraordinary setting of this case has obscured the ordinary principle that dictates its proper resolution: Federal courts defer to state high courts’ interpretations of their state’s own law. This principle reflects the core of federalism, on which all agree.” Her dissent was a masterclass in tearing down a clearly conservatives court overlooking of the law to further political gain. Her use of previous SC decisions on federalism was a clinic in jurisprudence! And in GRAND and SAVAGE fashion, she ended her opinion with only, “I DISSENT!” The traditional “respectfully” left off the end. A veritable “Beef is when I see you” to the foolish decision of the majority. She was notorious indeed.
And in this day of her death, we mourn her, but mostly we should honor her. On her deathbed she proclaimed:
A statement that was inspired by Mitch McConnell’s blocking of President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court during the 2016 election. Invoking the so called “Biden Rule”, the Senate refused to hold confirmation hearings until the election was over after Justice Scalia’s death. So because what’s good for the goose is absolutely sometimes good for the gander and McConnell is a BAN… she demanded the same. ON HER DEATHBED yo! Not for herself but for the country she loved. Another confirmation by the incumbent will result in a highly conservative and frankly MAGA minded court that will tear down the social justices that have happened in America since the early twentieth century. Race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, abortion rights will see fates that will forever change our country, moving it back to the Jim Crow era. RBG was an equal rights advocate and knew the damage that could come from a Trump confirmation. She was “all purpose war” on her hospice bed… she was notorious indeed.
So ladies, let’s be like RBG. Let’s dissent… respectability be damned. We must put on our jeweled bib, our fishnet gloves, a cute lippie, and pearl earrings and loudly dissent with passion, savagery, and no apologies. Let’s allow no one, despite how long their reach, to pluck our star from the heavens! Let’s be steadfast in standing up in our beliefs and our purpose with passion and urgency! Let’s be diligent in voting for OUR OWN interests and not those of our father’s, brother’s, and husband’s… because our vote was hard fought by feminists and activists from every walk of life, some to the death. Let’s always remember we are the life force! We hold within ourselves the cypher of life… we are to be honored and respected at all times and at all costs. And when we are not, we should don our crowns and let these patriarchs know that if they don’t take us serious, no holds are barred, and well “Fuck around, shit get dark to him…”
Now go forth and be notorious!
Rest in Power Super Diva!