Few people have earned the respect and admiration in their lifetimes as has Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her courage, influence, impact and commitment to defending justice for all will continue to inspire and lead the way for others seeking to follow her path and live by her values.
So many memories of her, her words, and her work come forward in this time of grief and loss. I remember the thrill of sitting with her at a lunch in her honor during the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. She was in Park City to celebrate the premiere of RBG, a documentary from independent film directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen. In an interview following the Sundance screening, she made headlines when she was asked about the rise of the #MeToo movement.
“I think it’s about time,” she told NPR’s Nina Totenberg. “For so long women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could about it, but now the law is on the side of women or men who encounter harassment, and that’s a big thing.”
|A big reason the law is now on our side, of course, is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Early on in her career, as director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union during the 1970s, Ginsburg worked methodically in case after case to persuade the all-male Supreme Court to recognize and apply the constitutional barriers against discrimination on the basis of sex. In a savvy move, her first anti-discrimination case was in defense of a man — a case well documented in the film about her early years, On the Basis of Sex. |
As a tribute to the precedent setting, culture shifting cases that Justice Ginsburg defended as a lawyer and protected as a Supreme Court Justice, I am expanding my Woman Up campaign to focus on men running for the U.S. Senate. After all, we can’t make voter choices on the basis of sex singularly or we miss the opportunity to ‘Woman Up’ for some very good men, and in order to take back the Senate, these races are key.
Arizona’s Senate race, already crucial in the fight to turn the Senate blue this election, is between Sen. Martha McSally, who was appointed by the governor to John McCain’s seat, and Mark Kelly. Whoever wins on November 3 could be seated as early as November 30, and that means that whoever wins in Arizona could be the crucial vote in stopping the Senate from approving a Trump nominee to the Supreme Court in a lame-duck session before his term ends.
On Friday, just hours after Ginsburg died, McSally said she would join other Senate Republicans in supporting Senator Mitch McConnell in his vow to force a vote on President Trump’s choice for the court.
Mark Kelly is our hope that there will be another choice.
Arizona — Mark Kelly
The good news is that astronaut Mark Kelly has held a consistent and significant lead in the race thus far, but we need to Woman Up with support to ensure his victory.
He supports the kinds of policies that empower women to achieve great things, enabling women to plan for and support their families while also thriving in the workplace. Married to former Congresswoman Gabby Gifford, Mark says he’s always been surrounded by strong women, starting with his mom, who was one of the first female police officers in his hometown of West Orange, NJ.
Mark has taken a vow not to take any contributions from corporate PACs and he’s dependent on grassroots fundraising. That’s where you come in. Learn more about his campaign and do what you can to support him at his official website: MarkKelly.com.
Below are some other good men that can be counted on to be much needed champions for defending civil rights, protecting a woman’s right to choose, and reversing climate change.
Colorado: John Hickenlooper
Colorado, once a toss-up state, is now leaning blue. And as of this week, John Hickenlooper is up by a whopping 10 points.
John’s policies are conservation-centered and pro-women. As governor he directly oversaw the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, a policy that helped over 30,000 women take control of their reproductive rights, reducing unwanted pregnancies in Colorado by 54% in less than a decade.
He’s also a big believer in equal representation in government. When he was mayor of Denver, nearly 60% of his cabinet appointments were women and more than half were people of color. And when he was governor, he worked to make sure that every state board and commission more accurately reflected the diversity of Colorado’s population.
“If elected to the U.S. Senate,” he says. “I hope to continue this collaborative working relationship, maintaining open lines of communication to craft policies that will help make America a more equitable place to live.”
As a former geologist, John understands the urgency of the climate crisis and his policies are firmly grounded in science. His goals for Colorado includezero net-emissions and 100% renewable energy by 2050, stricter standards on methane pollution, and the creation of a new Climate Corps Program that encourages young people to pursue climate change combatting careers. Learn more about his climate- and women’s rights-related policies at Hickenlooper.com.
Montana – Steve Bullock
Steve Bullock has been governor of Montana since 2013 and hehas been a strong advocate for women and minority groups in the state. Bullock currently trails Republican Sen. Steve Daines by one point, but Montanans have praised his approach as governor to the COVID-19 crisis and the race is still very much a toss-up.
When it comes to equality for all, Steve says “we can only realize the promise of those values when we recognize the progress that still has to be made in fully achieving that goal.”
During his time as governor, he’s invested $350,000 in Tribal Colleges for Native American students, promoted and backed the Equality Act for the LGBTQ+ community, and set a goal for Montana to become the first state to achieve gender pay equity. He also prioritized climate change, creating the Montana Climate Solutions Council and drafting the state’s Energy Blueprint plan. Learn more about his campaign here: SteveBullock.com.
Georgia — Raphael Warnock & Jon Ossoff
My home state of Georgia has the opportunity to be the decider on the power balance in the Senate. Both Senate seats are up for election and there are two very good men, both well-known advocates for women and underrepresented communities, well positioned to flip the seats blue.
Reverend Raphael Warnock is in an unusual campaign, regrettably referred to as a ‘Jungle Primary.’ This essentially means that there is no primary election and votes are cast in the general election, with nearly two dozen candidates from both parties on the ballot. A winner is declared if one candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, which is a nearly impossible feat given the number of candidates.
Georgia could end up with a runoff between two Republicans, two Democrats, or one from each party. A runoff is most likely in this case unless the Democrats consolidate support around Reverend Warnock, who is showing strength in the polls and in fundraising in a campaign that has been notably divisive.
Reverend Warnock has been an advocate for women’s rights his entire life. Before joining the clergy, Rev. Warnock worked as a sexual health educator in his community. In his ministry, he has called for greater access to birth control and safe, legal abortion. If elected, he says he will fight abortion bans and restrictions. It is vital that Georgia steps up, shows up, and Womans Up for Reverend Warnock. Learn more about his campaign at WarnockforGeorgia.com.
Jon Ossoff is in another very close race for Georgia’s other Senate seat. Polling shows Jon points ahead and then points behind Republican opponent David Perdue in the last few months, making this a very tight race and an important one. Jon promises to be an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, to uphold Roe v. Wade, and to fight race and class disparities with criminal justice reform.
And Jon isn’t just promising those things. He is a man of action. During his time as a journalist, he went undercover to expose how dangerous and unregulated abortion providers kill thousands of women in places where safe abortion services are not available. He produced “Girls, Guns, and ISIS,” a BBC exposé on the sexual slavery of women and girls in ISIS, highlighting a previously hidden injustice. And he has already released a detailed plan to aid and invest in Historically Black Colleges and Universities that he plans to push for in the Senate. Jon has proven that he will stand and fight for all of us, so right now it is vitally important that we stand and fight for him with our votes and our support. Learn more about his campaign at ElectJon.com.
In 2018, we watched Black women in Alabama stand up and show up for candidate Doug Jones for the Senate. This year, women of all colors, creeds and communities can Woman Up for our male allies in the battles that will continue until there is true equality.
In the immortal words of the Notorious RBG, “I don’t say women’s rights, I say the constitutional principle of equal rights for everyone.”