Illi­nois pols mourn Gins­burg

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY MANNY RAMOS, STAFF RE­PORTER mramos@sun­times.com | @_ManuelRamo­s_ Manny Ramos is a staff re­porter at the Chicago Sun-Times via Re­port for Amer­ica, a not-for-profit jour­nal­ism program that aims to bol­ster the paper’s cov­er­age of com­mu­ni­ties on the South

The weight of the loss of U.S. Supreme Court Jus­tice Ruth Bader Gins­burg, who died Fri­day at age 87, is be­ing felt across the state.

“Jus­tice Gins­burg was a gi­ant for jus­tice and a force that rep­re­sented the best of our ju­di­cial sys­tem and our coun­try. I am per­son­ally shaken and dev­as­tated,” said U.S. Rep. Lauren Un­der­wood, D-Ill.

“Her fierce ad­vo­cacy for the pro­tec­tion of rights for all peo­ple un­der the law — women, work­ers, LGBTQ peo­ple alike — and her guardian­ship of the Con­sti­tu­tion must not be taken for granted,” Un­der­wood added.

The Supreme Court lost its “most valiant cham­pion for jus­tice in our life­time,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill, — who also de­manded Gins­burg’s seat on the court re­main va­cant through the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, re­call­ing how Sen. Mitch McCon­nell re­fused to con­sider Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s nom­i­nee for the court, Mer­rick Gar­land, even though Gar­land was nom­i­nated much ear­lier in the year — in March of 2016.

“Please re­mem­ber Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell’s de­mand that Supreme Court va­can­cies go un­filled dur­ing a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion year, which was also Jus­tice Gins­burg’s dy­ing wish,” Durbin said.

McCon­nell has al­ready re­leased a state­ment declar­ing that the Se­nate would vote on Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s nom­i­nee this year.

Lt. Gov. Ju­liana Strat­ton said Gins­burg was one of her role mod­els be­cause she ad­mired her in­tel­lect, fear­less­ness to speak on is­sues and her tenac­ity in court.

“She made it clear that it is the right and duty of ev­ery woman to be her best, and to ex­pect eq­uity, and to fight for her­self and oth­ers, if she does not get it,” Strat­ton said.

Like Durbin, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he and wife M.K. Pritzker want the coun­try to honor Gins­burg by re­spect­ing her dy­ing wish.

“Jus­tice Ruth Bader Gins­burg was first a trail­blazer and then a bul­wark for equal­ity, whether you are a woman, gay, a per­son of color or dis­abled,” Pritzker said. “Just as im­por­tantly, she was a shin­ing role model for girls ev­ery­where — a tes­ta­ment to work­ing hard and fight­ing for what’s right.”

Sen. Tammy Duck­worth, D-Ill., said the na­tion lost “a 5’1” gi­ant” who gave girls and women a voice ev­ery­where.

Mayor Lori Light­foot and Cook County Board Pres­i­dent Toni Preck­win­kle shared their grief on Twit­ter.

“Dev­as­tated by the pass­ing of RBG. She rep­re­sented the finest among lawyers in our coun­try. A gi­ant in her ad­vo­cacy for women’s rights, civil rights and re­spect for the rule of law. We must honor her legacy and all her con­tri­bu­tions to Amer­i­can ju­rispru­dence. Rest in power, RBG,” Light­foot tweeted.

Preck­win­kle said the coun­try lost a “beacon of light.”

“There are no words to de­scribe Ruth Bader Gins­burg’s enor­mous im­pact on the his­tory of our na­tion. She has fought for gen­der equal­ity for decades and in the last sev­eral years has bat­tled cancer with the same tenac­ity,” she said.

ALEX EDEL­MAN/AFP VIA GETTY IM­AGES

A girl holds a can­dle in front of the Supreme Court build­ing in Washington, D.C., pay­ing re­spect to Jus­tice Ruth Bader Gins­burg, who died Fri­day at age 87.

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