Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a titan on the bench, and her agitation for womens’ rights throughout her long career is deserving of praise and celebration. Her contributions to the Court and to society were immense, and I, along with the entire Close community, mourn her passing and honor her achievements.
Nonetheless, a school ought not pick and choose which Supreme Court passings to commemorate and which to ignore. But St. Albans has done just that. The school honored Ginsburg with celebratory social media posts, partially captioned “we join the country in mourning the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” and the school community has united in collective lamentation — rightfully so.
But where was the fanfare at the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016? His death was greeted by not so much as a peep from St. Albans School.
Some might say that Ginsburg deserves unique recognition because of her special role as an icon for women and young girls. Others might assert that her legal contributions were greater. Neither is a valid argument for denying Scalia similar commemoration.
Scalia, the first Italian-American justice, was an inspiration to many of that demographic. He was a hero for many Catholics too, fiercely protecting the lives of the unborn and dedicating himself to his Roman Catholic faith. On the legal front, Scalia is widely regarded — by both his advocates and his detractors — as one of the most influential justices in modern history. He pioneered textualism and shaped the present-day interpretation of law. One way or another, Justice Scalia made significant and lasting contributions to our nation.
The cynic in me fears that St. Albans has chosen a side, willfully celebrating one jurist over the other. Let us hope it was only an oversight.
The content of this article, as with every article posted on The Exchanged, does not represent the views of the staff of The Exchanged nor the National Cathedral School, St. Albans School, Protestant Episcopal Foundation, or any employee thereof. Opinions written are those of the writer and the writer alone.