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Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice and champion for gender equality, dies at 87

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court and longtime legal champion of gender equality, has died. She was 87. The Supreme Court of the United States announced Ginsburg’s death in a statement on Friday: “Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died this evening surrounded by her family at her home in…

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice and champion for gender equality, dies at 87

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court and longtime legal champion of gender equality, has died. She was 87.
The Supreme Court of the United States announced Ginsburg’s death in a statement on Friday: “Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died this evening surrounded by her family at her home in Washington, D.C., due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer.”

Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
“Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature,” said Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. in the statement. “We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her — a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”

According to NPR, Ginsburg told her granddaughter Clara Spera days before her death, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
Ginsburg was still serving on the court despite a recent announcement that her cancer had returned and she was receiving chemotherapy. She had battled cancer previously, including a 1999 surgery for colorectal cancer and 2009 treatments for pancreatic cancer.

Ginsburg was a feminist icon, a lifelong advocate for women’s rights. As a lawyer, Ginsburg helped lead the charge for gender equity, fighting to overturn laws that permitted women to be treated differently from men and barred them from holding certain jobs. She was central in launching the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union and served as the ACLU’s general counsel from 1973 to 1980.

That carried over into her rulings as a judge, most notably a 1996 Supreme Court ruling where she wrote the court’s 7-to-1 opinion declaring that the Virginia Military Institute could not remain an all-male institution.
In her later years, Ginsburg became a pop culture phenomenon, an icon dubbed the Notorious RBG. Her feisty personality inspired everything from memes to Kate McKinnon’s portrayal of the justice on Saturday Night Live. Ginsburg was also portrayed on screen by Felicity Jones in Mimi Leder’s On the Basis of Sex in 2018, a film focused on Ginsburg’s early life and career.

In 2016, she authored In My Own Words, a compilation of her speeches and writing. Ginsburg was also the subject of an Oscar-nominated 2018 documentary, RBG, chronicling decades of her career.
“The more women who are out there doing things, the better off all of us will be for it,” Ginsburg said at the film’s premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. “That’s something that my dear colleague Sandra Day O’Connor often said: The more women who are out there doing things, the more young women will have the courage to go on. And I am heartened by the number of women who will be in races for our Congress and governorships and state legislative positions. It was a favorite expression of Martin Luther King Jr.: ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.'”

Justice Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on March 15, 1933. She met her husband, Martin D. Ginsburg, while pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Cornell University. Later, the two started classes at Harvard Law School. She was one of only nine women in a class of approximately 500 men.
Ginsburg not only looked after their first child, Jane, who was born in 1955, while tending to her studies, but attended class and took notes for both her and her husband when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. She was named to the Harvard Law Review, but when her husband moved to New York for work, she transferred to Columbia for her final year of law school.

She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Edmund L. Palmieri, Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York from 1959 to 1961. From 1961 to 1963, she was a research associate and then associate director of the Columbia Law School Project on International Procedure.
Unable to find higher-level work at a law firm because of her sex, Ginsburg became a law professor at Rutgers University from 1963 to 1972. She transferred to Columbia Law School in 1972, becoming the first woman to receive tenure and co-founding the first law journal in the United States devoted to issues of gender equality, The Women’s Rights Law Reporter.

Her first cases before the United States Supreme Court came during her tenure at the ACLU where sex discrimination complaints were referred to her. As depicted in On the Basis of Sex, one of Ginsburg’s most prominent early cases was Moritz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, wherein she successfully argued a man was denied a tax deduction for caring for a disabled relative because of his gender.

She was sworn into the Supreme Court on Aug. 10, 1993, the second female justice after Sandra Day O’Connor. From 2006 to 2009, following O’Connor’s retirement, she was the only female justice on the Supreme Court.
In addition to the numerous cases she argued for, Ginsburg’s dissents were equally noteworthy. She dissented in 2000 in the case of Bush v. Gore, deciding the presidential election; in 2007’s Gonzales v. Carhart, which upheld a Partial-Birth Abortion Act of 2002; and blasted the court’s 2013 majority decision to gut the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder.

“I’d like to see this Court do the job that it has been doing for now well over 200 years, to do it in a way that’s faithful to the Constitution that I believe was made to govern us through the ages, for one generation to the next,” she said at Sundance in 2018. “So the idea of a Constitution that is still being perfected, that is ever more inclusive… It is a tremendous honor that I have this job, and a huge responsibility.”

Ginsburg is survived by her daughter, Jane, and son, James.
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Broadway comes to TV with ‘American Utopia’ and ‘What the Constitution Means to Me’

Both shows are worth the time, although seeing them at home, frankly, reinforces what’s lost in translation given the tingle that live theater, at its best, can send up your spine — a sensation that doesn’t quite emerge on either front. Together, they underscore what “Hamilton” so impressively accomplished by conjuring that elusive magic. Notably,…

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Broadway comes to TV with ‘American Utopia’ and ‘What the Constitution Means to Me’

Both shows are worth the time, although seeing them at home, frankly, reinforces what’s lost in translation given the tingle that live theater, at its best, can send up your spine — a sensation that doesn’t quite emerge on either front. Together, they underscore what “Hamilton” so impressively accomplished by conjuring that elusive magic. Notably, HBO Max’s “The West Wing” special also captures some of that by bringing a TV show to the stage for the purposes of watching at home. (Like CNN, HBO is a unit of WarnerMedia.)Byrne, the Talking Heads front man, has always possessed a theatrical and cinematic flair, including his 1986 directorial effort “True Stories.” Those qualities inform “American Utopia,” a collection of songs — imaginatively choreographed and lit — that conveys the joyous and playful aspects of his music.On the plus side, that sense of fun is entertaining enough. The main drawback is that while Byrne addresses pressing issues during his chatting with the audience — including the importance of voting, and introducing his performance of Janelle Monae’s “Hell You Talmbout,” name-checking Black people killed by police — there’s scant thematic adhesive to the presentation, unlike some other productions wedding rock to Broadway (Bruce Springsteen’s “Springsteen on Broadway,” filmed for Netflix, comes to mind).Lee does an admirable job of shooting the performance from every conceivable angle, although while the overhead shots are quite cool, one could probably do without closeups on Byrne’s feet, which along with the rest of the performers, are bare.Byrne’s playlist includes the hit “Burning Down the House,” and a boisterous rendition of “Road to Nowhere,” which includes a march through the appreciative audience.”American Utopia” doesn’t set the screen ablaze, but Byrne and his collaborators certainly know how to put on a show, even when it feels like they’re going nowhere.”What the Constitution Means to Me,” by contrast, is an audacious idea, one that starts slowly — at least in this format — before sinking in its hooks about halfway through.Playwright-star Schreck (a Tony nominee on both scores) earned college tuition money by competing in Constitutional debates, and revives her 15-year-old self to explore — humorously at first, pointedly later — its troubling and inequitable aspects, including mistreatment of women.Schreck’s reminiscing about “Dirty Dancing” and visiting legion halls to wax eloquently about the Constitution to mostly older men come into sharper focus when she exits the time capsule, and pivots to speaking in her 40-something voice.At that moment her memories and observations become sharper, from the patriarchal values of the court to violence against women to her own experience with abortion.”When abortion became illegal, it didn’t become rare,” she says, referencing the days before Roe v. Wade. “It only became deadly.”Schreck closes by engaging in a debate with a teen orator, Rosdely Ciprian, about whether the Constitution is indeed the living, breathing document that we’ve been taught to admire in school — adaptable to the modern age — or a hopelessly dated construct that needs to be discarded, starting over from scratch. It’s an interesting device, while lacking the impact of the material that precedes it.Directed by Marielle Heller (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”), “What the Constitution Means to Me” serves as a reminder that those pining for the past tend to ignore historic inequalities. There’s even quotation from the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who caused a stir when she saw the show last year — which makes the special feel extra timely and poignant.Minor drawbacks aside, both shows have plenty to recommend them. And if live theater means anything to you, they provide at least a taste of what you’re missing.”What the Constitution Means to Me” premieres Oct. 16 on Amazon.”American Utopia” premieres Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. ET on HBO, which like CNN, is a unit of WarnerMedia.

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Taraji P. Henson confirms split from fiancé Kelvin Hayden

The “What Men Want” actress confirmed during an appearance Monday on “The Breakfast Club” that she and the former NFL player have ended their engagement.”I just turned 50 and I mean, I hadn’t said it yet, but it didn’t work out,” she told the hosts of the popular New York City radio show. “I tried.…

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Taraji P. Henson confirms split from fiancé Kelvin Hayden

The “What Men Want” actress confirmed during an appearance Monday on “The Breakfast Club” that she and the former NFL player have ended their engagement.”I just turned 50 and I mean, I hadn’t said it yet, but it didn’t work out,” she told the hosts of the popular New York City radio show. “I tried. I was, like ‘Therapy, let’s do the therapy thing,’ but if you’re both not on the same page with that then you feel like, you’re taking it on yourself. And that’s not a fair position for anybody to play in a relationship.”The couple got engaged in 2018 and were scheduled to be married in June this year.In March Henson told “Extra” they were postponing the wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic.”It’s probably going to be more like July,” she said at the time. “We have to see what this will be like at the other end.”The “Empire” star was part of a panel discussion on “The Breakfast Club” about trauma and relationships.She said she loves Black men and Black love and is a fan of mental health support for her community. “It hurts when relationships don’t last,” she said. “I love to see Black love and I want to see more of it. I want to see our relationships last and make it.”

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‘Supermaket Sweep’ hopes to get you swept into the fun

The phrase “global pandemic” had just been thrown around in the news the day before and even though I’d been prepping supplies and canned goods since the month prior, I decided that morning that our household could use a fresh round of the basics so we could hunker down for a couple of weeks. Everyone…

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‘Supermaket Sweep’ hopes to get you swept into the fun

The phrase “global pandemic” had just been thrown around in the news the day before and even though I’d been prepping supplies and canned goods since the month prior, I decided that morning that our household could use a fresh round of the basics so we could hunker down for a couple of weeks. Everyone in West Los Angeles apparently had the same idea. I’ll remember that morning for the rest of my life because walking into a crowded grocery store with mostly bare shelves was something I had been privileged enough to not have experienced before. Though, there had been a time when I wanted nothing more than to run through a grocery store, clearing shelves as I went along. I loved “Supermarket Sweep” as a child and was convinced I could achieve financial independence if only given the chance to run the big sweep one day. (My plan was always to start by grabbing an inflatable bonus, running it back and then heading straight for the expensive meats.) This store looked like it had fallen victim to lots of sweepers but not in a fun way. Carts were piled high but faces were masked and not smiling. The eyes that poked above face coverings were filled with worry. By the time my turkey, ribs and I got to the checkout counter, and I heard that familiar beep, I didn’t think about “Supermarket Sweep.” I thought, “Get me the hell out of here.” ABC will premiere its reboot of “Supermarket Sweep” on Sunday, hoping to feed viewers’ appetite for escapist programming with their new take on the game show once hosted by David Ruprecht. In the process, it will confront the question of whether it’s escapist at all to be reminded of our complicated relationship with grocery shopping and food this year, whether you couldn’t find toilet paper or are one of the millions struggling with food insecurity in wake of the economic downfall. “We want it to be received with fun and laughter and joy and a little escape from the mask of it all,” executive producer Alycia Rossier told reporters on a recent conference call. “The grocery workers in the States have kept us alive for the last six months. They went to the store every day. And we see our store as a place of celebration.” The show honors a grocery store worker in every episode and awards them $2,000, Rossiter said. The groceries featured in the show’s store were also all donated to the Los Angeles Food Bank or, in the case of perishables, donated to animal charities that could use them as feed.”We were thinking about it every step of the way,” she said. That includes host and executive producer Leslie Jones, who noted that while people aren’t wearing masks inside their fictional grocery store, they are essential items. (Contestants and those on set were tested for coronavirus prior to filming, which occurred in late July, and safety protocols were instituted on set.) “I’m going to say right here, yeah, you’re supposed to have on your damn mask,” she said. If you appreciate Jones and her brand of humor for being as inherently joyful as intended, you’ll enjoy her in the role of host. Other than the prices of groceries, which will inspire sticker shock and the maximum amount of prize money ($100,000), no notable changes have been made to the game itself. And that’s great news because the game was perfect as it was. Jones sees the hour-long show as a chance for people “to bond together and know that there’s still some good stuff going on and that there’s hope.” Ultimately, viewers will decide if they’re ready to buy that.

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