For Immediate Release

Press Contact

September 18, 2021

Justice Ginsburg Passed Away One Year Ago — Our Courts Are Still Broken

WASHINGTON, D.C. — One year ago today, civil rights lawyer, trailblazer, and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. After she passed, Senator McConnell immediately violated Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish not to be replaced until after the 2020 election, and rammed through ultra-conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett to solidify a conservative and partisan 6-3 Supreme Court, days before the election.

Justice Coney Barrett’s confirmation followed Sen. McConnell’s refusal to hold Supreme Court confirmation hearings for President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, in 2016 because ‘it was a presidential election year’ — a rule he quickly discarded when it suited him in 2020. These two stolen Supreme Court seats are part of a coordinated effort by Republicans to stack the court with corporate-friendly, anti-voting white men — leading them to appoint over 200 conservative judges in the Trump presidency.

Just Democracy, a coalition of 40+ Black and Brown-led social justice organizations, advocates for court expansion and to diversify the Supreme Court and lower courts. Today, our coalition reflects on Justice Ginsburg’s passing and the need for change:

"Justice Ginsburg’s tragic death furthered Republicans’ despicable, radical takeover of the Supreme Court, underscoring how fragile our democratic institutions are — our civil rights should never have rested on the shoulders of one woman,” said Stephany Spaulding, Coalition Member of Just Democracy and Founder of Truth & Conciliation. “As we reflect on her legacy, we also reckon with the broken and unrepresentative nature of the Supreme Court. Our coalition is fighting to reform a deeply broken judicial system designed to exclude and criminalize Black and Brown people — that fight starts with expanding the Supreme Court and adding the first ever Black woman to the bench. With the court’s recent radical reversal on Roe vs. Wade and upcoming civil rights cases, the stakes could not be higher to ensure our institutions represent and protect Black and Brown people in America.”

"Justice Ginsburg was the last civil rights lawyer appointed to the Supreme Court — bringing a critical perspective desperately needed at all levels of our judiciary today,” said Tamara Brummer, Senior Advisor for Engagement and Outreach at Demand Justice and Coalition Partner of Just Democracy. “We are so grateful for Justice Ginsburg’s work in fighting for equality in this country — now we must fight to protect the values she stood for and create a truly representative court system.”


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