More than 125 people of all ages came to the federal courthouse in Bangor on Sunday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
A number of speakers at the event described the broad ways in which Ginsburg’s work to advance women’s equality had directly and indirectly affected them in their own lives.
Clare Davitt, chair of the Bangor City Council, said Ginsburg’s work helped allow her mother to become a “groundbreaking” doctor and her stepmother to work as a lawyer in the 1970s when she was the only woman in the room.
“The reason that’s all possible was because of Justice Ginsburg,” Davitt said. “I’m 41. I’ve never had a child, and I’ve made that choice safely, and I’ve been able to do that because of Justice Ginsburg. I’ve seen children dressed as Justice Ginsburg. I definitely was not wearing Supreme Court justice costumes when I was a kid. It’s incredible, and it gives me so much hope.”
Another woman attributed her ability to live in a home under her own name to Ginsburg.
At least 125 people came out to the federal courthouse in Bangor on Sunday night for a candlelight vigil mourning the death of liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Credit: Charles Eichacker / BDN)
Many of the speakers urged people to vote in the upcoming elections, which have taken on a new light now that President Donald Trump is trying to appoint one more conservative justice to the court before the end of this term.
“I want to remind you we all need to vote in her honor,” said state Rep. Victoria Kornfield, a Bangor Democrat.
A number of the attendees held handmade signs featuring quotations from Ginsburg and larger rallying cries. One of them read, “RBG: Irreplaceable until 1/21/21,” which is the day after the winner of this presidential election will be inaugurated.
Just about all of the attendees wore face masks, except when they went to the front of the group to speak.
While many of the speakers advocated left-leaning causes, one notable exception was Penobscot County Treasurer John Hiatt, a Republican who was raised Catholic and has been public about his anti-abortion views, but who also has a moderate streak.
Hiatt praised Ginsburg’s “legal mind” and spoke out against the efforts to ram through her replacement before the upcoming election, calling it a “double standard” given that Republicans didn’t allow former President Barack Obama’s final Supreme Court nominee to receive a vote in an election year.
“I’m not very popular in my party for saying that,” Hiatt added.