Common Defense Statement on the Passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Sep 19, 2020 – Common Defense Veterans honor Justice Ginsburg’s legacy and call for the U.S. Senate to focus on COVID relief, not a divisive confirmation battle.

As we process the heartbreaking news of the loss of a true American hero – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – and mourn the loss of someone who fought tirelessly for the betterment and progress of our nation, we are keenly aware what this means for our country. America’s future is at stake, therefore the American people should play an important role in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice.

As veterans who served to uphold and defend our constitution, just as Justice Ginsburg did throughout her exemplary career, our duty did not end when we took off our uniforms and came back home. On the contrary, we continue to be engaged members of our communities fighting for justice and liberty for all.

“Justice Ginsburg got women equal pay and benefits in the military through Frontiero v. Richardson (1973), which was a landmark US Supreme Court case that decided benefits given by the US military to the family of service members cannot be given out differently because of sex. Frontiero is an important decision in several respects, it informed the military establishment that in terms of pay, allowances and general treatment, women must be considered on an equal plane as men. This decision provided me with the ability to attend the US Air Force Academy and become an officer, this case made it possible for me.” US Air Force Veteran, Kathryn Smith (she/her/hers).

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg has tirelessly worked on the Supreme Court to stand up to blatant discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. As an LGBTQ+ veteran, I was filled with joy when the court ruled Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections for LGBTQ+ employees. I got to enjoy this freedom after I left the military since the military does not fall under this federal protection. RBG’s monumental fight to end LGBTQ+ discrimination is part of her powerful legacy she leaves behind, even as Trump’s Trans Ban still lingers,” said US Army combat veteran, Esti (they/them/theirs).

Justice Ginsburg believed and fought for equal justice and kept alive the promise of a more fair and free America. She safeguarded and protected our rights vigorously, and the person chosen to take her seat in the highest court in the land should be someone as committed to justice for all as Justice Ginsburg was. The passing of Justice Ginsburg leaves an open seat in the Supreme Court of the United States. The future Justice confirmed to serve in this seat will be a lifelong appointee.

As veterans, we also fought for a more fair, free America and our number one priority was always protecting the people of the U.S. With COVID-19 still active in our communities and working families suffering under a weak economy, we are calling on all U.S. Senators to work on protecting Americans by solving the pandemic instead of focusing on who will sit on the courts right now. We went over a year with 8 Justices, a new Justice can wait. We do not need a divisive, partisan confirmation fight in the 11th hour of an election and while families are still struggling to make ends meet.

In Solidarity,

Team Common Defense

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