I’m Stumped
Published in

I’m Stumped


Put your swords down for a minute. Someone’s Mom just died.

Take a beat before you dive into the politics. Someone just lost their Grandmother.

Today Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. Trust that there will be time for you to turn your attention to the political implications of the new vacancy on the Supreme Court.

For now, just be a person and recognize that America lost a person that had dedicated nearly her entire life to trying to make this Country better for all of us. Perhaps she didn’t do that in the way you would like. That’s fine. But rather than focus on the philosophical differences, maybe just today let’s consider her effort, sacrifice and contribution.

Others will list her accomplishments. I want to point out just a couple things that struck me today.

First, it may have been the injustice of pervasive gender inequality that spurred RBG on to a life of service. After graduating from Harvard law, no NYC law firm would hire her. Despite her better grades, she had to face rejection while her husband was welcomed. So she took a job teaching at Rutgers which in her words allowed her to spend time on the movement to bring equality to women under the law. Who knows what the landscape would look like for women if she had gone to work at some massive law firm and pursued wealth and power over service? That is not to say the discrimination she faced was good, only to point out that her redemption of the injustice is a powerful, positive part of her legacy.

Second, she was the first person to convince the US Supreme Court to strike down a State law that discriminated against women based on gender. The first. And that started a wave that changed laws in favor of women for the next 50 years and counting.

Third, she was a brilliant legal mind and scholar. She and I did not share the same philosophy of jurisprudence, but then again I don’t deserve to be in the same sentence as her except to say that we were both lawyers. Agree with her or not, my profession lost a titan today and that is sad. America lost a dedicated servant and thinker and that is also sad. But we should all take a moment to recognize and be grateful for a life that drastically improved your life and mine in dogged and powerful determination to make America more fair, more just and more equal in its laws.

It has often been said that we are a nation of laws and Justice Ginsburg was one of the guardians of all that is good in that statement.

Tomorrow, you can go back to war and talk about our political landscape and the massive hole that this tiny jurist left and how it might be filled. But today, just say a prayer for her family and while you’re there, thank God that our Country has people working tirelessly deep into their twilight for you and for me.

Rest in peace Notorious RBG.



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Joshua Stump

Joshua Stump

I am a Dad, a husband, a son, a brother, a follower of Jesus, a lawyer, a songwriter, and just generally someone with a lot of strong opinions about stuff.