Oregon leaders mourn passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. associate Supreme Court justice who died Friday, spent her final years on the bench as the unquestioned leader of the court’s liberal wing and became something of a rock star to her admirers.

Young women especially seemed to embrace the court’s Jewish grandmother, affectionately calling her the Notorious RBG, for her defense of the rights of women and minorities, and the strength and resilience she displayed in the face of personal loss and health crises.

United States Court of Appeals Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, who sits on the Ninth Circuit in Portland, said in a statement that Ginsburg was a longtime friend and visited Portland often.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg both as a consequential Supreme Court Justice whom I deeply respected and as a long time friend,” O’Scannlain said. “We met many times both here, when she visited the Pioneer Courthouse, and in judicial settings in Washington and abroad. It was a privilege to know her and I will miss her kindness and generosity very much. May she rest in peace.”

Oregon politicians also mourned the news of her death.

Gov. Kate Brown ordered flags flown at half mast on public property statewide until Ginsburg is buried. Brown, herserlf an attorney, said:

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg created a landscape and set the legal framework for women’s equality in this country — case by case, brick by brick. She was ahead of her time, a true pioneer. Her story was remarkable. Throughout her career, she faced discrimination at every turn –– for being a woman, for being Jewish, for being a mother –– yet overcame it to sit on the highest court in our country.

“Along the way, her work in the legal system led to landmark structural changes that reduced gender discrimination and created more equal protections for all Americans. Her efforts have helped create a more just and fair country – and ensured that even if she was the first one to make it through a certain door, she wouldn’t be the last. Throughout my life and career, in the law and in government, I have walked through doors that she opened. From the time I was a young lawyer, I was inspired by her incredible intelligence, her tenacity, and her unfailing moral compass that guided her work toward creating a more perfect union, one with equal opportunities for all of us.

“Fierce, persistent and filled with grit, she was our hope and our inspiration. Justice Ginsburg never, ever gave up and America is better for it. We can honor her legacy by continuing to work to dismantle all forms of inequality and discrimination, in our justice system and in our lives, with everything we have. Dan and I send our love to her entire family as they mourn the loss of an American icon and legend.”

President Donald Trump will almost certainly try to push Ginsburg’s successor through the Republican-controlled Senate.

Rev. E.D. Mondainé, president of the Portland chapter of the NAACP, called Ginsburg a “champion for social change.”

“In ensuring that her life’s work is properly revered and her legacy honored, we must demand that the president, the Senate Majority Leader and his colleagues keep the commitments they have made and honor the precedents they have set—the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” Mondainé said in a statement.

“Politics notwithstanding, the extraordinary contributions of Justice Ginsburg as a citizen, an advocate, an attorney and a jurist are beyond measure. Her memory will abide forever more, and her loved ones are in my prayers tonight, and in those of the entire NAACP family.”

Ron Wyden, Oregon’s senior senator, noted Ginsburg’s passing on Twitter. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a once-in-a-generation role model and champion of equal rights,” he said. “This is such an extraordinary loss for our country.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley also posted a statement.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler described Ginsburg as a role model.