Teach Your Children Well

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Thousands have been streaming to the Capitol to honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first woman, and Jew, to lie in state in this country, and just the second Supreme Court justice; she will be buried alongside her husband Marty in Arlington National Cemetery. With so much grief and dread and fury surrounding her loss, many of us seek light where we can find it amidst the rubble. There is resolve to block Amy Barrett, the zealot straight out of The Handmaid's Tale, to ensure RBG isn't "replaced by a woman who walked through every door that Ginsburg opened for her so she can promptly use her position to shut them all for others behind her." There is what law professor Joseph Margulies calls the galvanizing "gift" of a sense, with RBG gone, "The ships have been burned; there will be no retreat to the Court." He argues it's past time to renounce the myth of the court as our "Great Protector" when in truth it's served, except very briefly, as a reactionary force far behind the progressive will of the people. Now we owe it to RBG "to fight the political battles...When the people speak, the Court listens." There's been the moving sight of so many paying grateful tribute to Ginsburg and the equality before the law she fought for, grieving as for a friend or relative. Mourners ranged from D.C. residents who viewed her as a familiar, beloved neighbor and mentor to Bryant Johnson, her personal trainer of 20 years, who at her casket dropped to the floor and did three poignant push-ups for her.  Ginsburg once talked about their relationship and how important it was to her, especially when she was ill from chemotherapy. "Even in my lowest periods I couldn't do very much," she said, "but I did what I can." Most stirringly, there have been the kids, heartbreaking, uplifting, reverential, wearing their RBG collars and clutching their "I Dissent" books, who came with their parents - "There were tears in this house tonight" - to honor "what America should be," and who give us hope. Onward, ruthlessly.

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