Role Model

David Louk standing vigil over RBG’s coffin

Sunday, October 18, 2020

I’m re-posting this photo from my long-time friend, Linda, of her son David during the RBG memorial proceedings. Before Justice Ginsburg’s death, and after a year of looking forward to the role, David had begun clerking for her.

It was impossible to avoid mentally re-living the RBG phenomenon as I read an article in this week’s New Yorker Magazine. Its writer, Jay Wexler, formerly clerked for RBG and is a law professor at Boston University. In the article (link below) he explains the final mission for many of RBG’s law clerks.

Wexler explains the ritual of “never leaving a departed Justice alone”. He describes some of the previous clerks, their current roles, their courtrooms, their classrooms, and from where they traveled. Until soon, there were “One hundred and twenty clerks gathered…to receive their instructions….” During that highly-emotional reunion, individuals selected from a spreadsheet two shifts of twenty-minutes each, during which he or she would stand vigil, two clerks at a time.

Following the tribute to Justice Ginsburg, her clerks returned to their homes in time to watch the first presidential debate. That debate, after an initial question (about the Supreme Court), quickly went off the rails. Wexler quotes former clerk, Nick Bevin, “I never saw Justice Ginsburg try to shout down an adversary or drown out an opposing view…. And I worked for her during Bush v. Gore.”

Justice Ginsburg has been credited with many “past firsts”. And still they come.

She’s the first woman to lie in state in the Capital.

According to the New York Times, “As…mourners took turns bowing their heads or making signs of the cross to honor Justice Ginsburg, Bryant Johnson, an Army veteran who served as her longtime trainer, honored her with a different kind of gesture: He dropped to the floor before her coffin and did three full push-ups.

The Times reports, too, that Brooklyn where Ginsburg grew up is making plans for a memorial statue of her.

Enjoy this Wexler article:

Dear Friends: The Justice in public service was a model of intelligence and civility. Diana

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