October 14, 2020

VIDEO: Udall, Haaland, New Mexicans Reflect on the Trailblazing Life and Legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Panelists honored Justice Ginsburg’s legacy of advancing women’s rights and fairness for all New Mexicans as Senate Republicans rush Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearings to replace her

VIDEO LINK: https://www.facebook.com/RepDebHaaland/videos/1469833043203260/

SANTA FE, N.M.—Yesterday, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) hosted a panel of New Mexico lawyers and champions of women’s empowerment to honor the life and legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As Senate Republicans rush Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat, the panelists discussed the importance of Justice Ginsburg’s lifelong fight for women’s rights and equal justice under the law for all New Mexicans.

Udall and Haaland were joined by Pamelya Herndon, a New Mexico attorney with a long career focused on women’s legal issues and social justice issues, Roberta Cooper Ramo, the first woman President of the American Bar Association and a long-time friend of Justice Ginsburg, and University of New Mexico Law Student Victoria LeBlanc Vialpando. The panelists discussed Justice Ginsburg’s legal fight for gender equality and what her legacy leaves for the future.  

“No biography can do justice to Justice Ginsburg’s peerless legacy,” Udall said. “She was a titan of justice, a trailblazing force who used her unmatched talents for immeasurable good. She truly cannot be replaced. We all know that the Justice’s last wish was that the next president would name her replacement. We should honor her wishes, and honor her legacy. The Senate should wait until the American people have spoken and the current presidential election concludes before we act to determine who will serve as the next Supreme Court justice.” 

“Justice Ginsburg is an inspiration to women everywhere, and she leaves a legacy that encourages young women to pursue legal careers no matter the obstacles, to dissent and challenge the status quo, and to be leaders," said Haaland, Vice Chair of the Democratic Women's Caucus. "As Justice Ginsburg said, ‘Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn't be that women are the exception.’”

“Justice Ginsburg has been a mentor to me, even though we never met personally. Justice Ginsburg taught me it was never enough to be the first of anything, it’s what you do with that opportunity once you receive it that makes the difference,” said Herndon. “She taught me that if you are on the side of right, you don’t let the fire of your passion die when something goes wrong.”

“Justice Ginsburg’s view of the world, is that as human beings, what is special—and should be special about our country—is that all people have certain inalienable rights, and articulating those and making them real was her life's work before she sat on the Court and after she sat on the Court,” said Cooper Ramo. “I think in New Mexico we particularly mourn her because she so loved us and everything about us - our diversity, our natural beauty, and the way we treat one another, which is the way American citizens should treat one another."

“What means the most to me about her legal legacy is that without it and without her drive towards justice, it's people like me, women like myself, who would not even have the opportunity to follow my dreams,” said LeBlanc Vialpando. “Justice Ginsburg was able to create a voice for so many people who felt like they had been unseen, and who were unseen and were voiceless for so long. She taught us that everybody has a story, and everybody deserves to be heard with their story.”