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09.19.20

APLA Health Mourns the Passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

APLA Health today mourns the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a lifelong pioneer for women’s rights and gender equality for all Americans and an irreplaceable progressive force on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We have lost a national hero,” said APLA Health Chief Executive Officer Craig E. Thompson. “Justice Ginsburg was a brilliant legal thinker, a visionary judicial strategist and someone who understood how to advance progressive issues and increase equality and opportunity for all despite sometimes fierce resistance.”

While best known for championing gender equality, as only the second woman to sit on the Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg ruled with the majority of the court in advancing progressive issues including equal pay for women, equal access to all male military academies, protecting reproductive rights, maintaining the Affordable Care Act, LGBTQ rights and more.

Among the rulings she joined on LGBTQ rights were Romer v. Evans in 1996, which struck down Colorado’s anti-gay Amendment 2, and Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, which struck down state laws criminalizing sodomy. Both decisions were early indications the nation and the court were moving in a new direction on LGBTQ rights.

Ginsburg also joined rulings that advanced same-sex marriage, including Windsor v. United States in 2013, which struck down the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act; Hollingsworth v. Perry in 2013, which restored marriage equality to California after Proposition 8; and Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, which struck down state bans on same-sex marriage and extended full marriage equality throughout the country.

More recently, Ginsburg joined the decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which found anti-LGBTQ discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, thus illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The broad ruling grants protections to LGBTQ people wherever there are laws against sex discrimination, including employment, housing, health care and education.

Ginsburg herself became the first Supreme Court justice to conduct a same-sex wedding, marrying Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser and economist John Roberts in 2013.

“We would not be where we are today,” Thompson added, “without Justice Ginsburg on the Court.”

Justice Ginsburg died at home in Washington, D.C., at age 87 after a long battle with cancer.