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Professors Tucker, Kalhan and Cohen on the Legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Future of the Supreme Court

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

September 25, 2020

In response to the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kline School of Law professors Lisa TuckerAnil Kalhan and David Cohen have spoken about her legacy and the future of the Supreme Court.

Professor Lisa Tucker, who met Justice Ginsburg several times, told NBC10 that Ginsburg’s legacy is widespread. “All you have to do is scroll through Instagram and see all the little kids who dress up as RBG for Halloween.” But Ginsburg’s legacy goes beyond becoming a pop culture icon. According to Tucker, Ginsburg provided inspiration to generations because of her intellect and passion. Tucker, in a statement made to The Philadelphia Inquirer, also noted that Ginsburg is without a doubt her students’ favorite Supreme Court Justice. “But it’s not only my students,” said Tucker, “I have daughters and stepdaughters ranging in age from 12 to 21 and I see it in their peers.”

Professor Anil Kalhan agreed with Tucker on Justice Ginsburg’s expansive legacy during an interview with WHYY’s Radio Times. He said her legacy is a “very consequential and deep one, not only as a member of the Supreme Court.” Justice Ginsburg established a place in history before becoming a Supreme Court Justice, having “moved the shape of constitutional law in the direction of what many people today describe as a de facto ERA [Equal Rights Amendment],” according to Kalhan. Kalhan also appeared on Sree Sreenivasan’s show on WBAI Radio to discuss Justice Ginsburg’s achievements and the composition of the Supreme Court.

Professor David Cohen explores the civil rights restrictions that may arise with another Trump-appointed Supreme Court Justice in his Rolling Stone article “What the Loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Means for the Supreme Court.” A sixth conservative Justice would mean that “overturning Roe isn’t as certain as the sun rising in the east in the morning … but it’s pretty damn close,” writes Cohen. While the long-term fallout from the loss of Justice Ginsburg at such a pivotal time in the country’s history remains to be seen, “the environment, economic regulation, criminal justice protections and the death penalty” are some of the areas likely to see changes should another conservative justice be appointed, according to Cohen.

Candlelight Vigil

Kline’s Women in Law Society will host a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, September 25, at 7 p.m. in the People’s Plaza at 5th and Market in the Independence National Historic Park.

Photo Credit: Supreme Court of the United States