By Dr. Edelia J. Carthan,
Court of Appeals Judge Latrice Westbrooks, who is also a candidate vying for Mississippi Supreme Court, held a press conference to honor Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Monday at her campaign headquarters in downtown Jackson.
Justice Ginsburg died Friday at the age of 87 due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer according to news reports. Nominated by then President Bill Clinton in 1993, Justice Ginsburg served on the court for more than 27 years. During her tenure on the highest court in the nation, she was the most liberal on the court consistently delivering progressive votes on the most divisive social issues of today, including voting rights, healthcare, immigration, abortion rights and affirmative action.
“I stand before you today to reflect on the life and the uncompromised legacy of a woman on whose shoulders we stand, the late great Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” Westbrooks said as she addressed the audience.
“Few are born into this world who make a sizable impact that transcends race, gender, geography, political ideology and social standing. However, Justice Ginsburg, affectionately known as the notorious RBG, is one of those persons. To be a woman in the legal profession takes grit, strength and fortitude.Justice Ginsburg embodied these collective characteristics each time she walked into the room and sat at a table or on the bench to express experiences that were not likely shared or understood or validated by her colleagues.”
“Justice Ginsburg’s principal posture with regard to the laws and decision making inspire me and others to follow our voice and not yield to conventions while on the bench. In her own words, we should not be held back from pursuing our full talents from contributing what we could contribute to society because we belong to a group that has historically been the object of discrimination.”
“I come before you today to remember her legacy and the charge that has been left to us all and for us not to take it lightly. We must remember as she so eloquently stated, where decisions are being made, there must be a woman. Therefore, we must posture ourselves ever so intensely on having our voices heard as we make decisions and make sure justice is balanced, incorruptible, fair and blind.”
“Mississippi has set 137 justices on the state’s highest court and only four have been women. Our nation is not far behind. Let us honor not only Ruth Bader Ginsburg but all women who have fought for the collective rights of all Americans.
Rest in power and in peace “Notorious RBG.”
Westbrooks is one of two African Americans on the 10-member Court of Appeals, challenging long-time Mississippi jurist Kennu Griffis in November for the general election for a spot on the Supreme Court representing the Central District of Mississippi.