Ruth Bader Ginsburg, associate justice of the U.S Supreme Court, will soon add another title to her resume: Liberty Medal recipient.
Ginsburg will receive the honor in Philadelphia on Constitution Day on Sept. 17.
The National Constitution Center in Old City has awarded the medal since 1988 to “men and women of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe.”
Past recipients include civil rights icon and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai and rock musician Bono. Ginsburg’s colleague, former Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy — the swing vote in major cases for decades — was last year’s medal recipient.
Decades before Ginsburg occupied the bench on the nation’s high court — or was dubbed by the internet the “Notorious RBG” and became a fan-favorite SNL parody — she fought for gender equality before the U.S. Supreme Court and won, on a handful of occasions.
And so it is apt that the ceremony honoring Ginsburg will cap the Constitution Center’s celebration of the passage of the 19th amendment, which took place 100 years ago and gave women the right to vote — though many women of color remained excluded.
The ceremony comes in a year of health scares for the justice, including multiple trips to the hospital and a return of cancer.
Unlike previous years, Ginsburg’s ceremony tribute will be virtual. Opera will be part of the musical offerings as the 87-year-old justice is a well-known fan.
“It is a special honor for the National Constitution Center to award the 2020 Liberty Medal to Justice Ginsburg for her historic efforts to advance equality and liberty for all,” said National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen in a statement. “It’s especially meaningful to have convened some of the Justice’s favorite opera singers and special friends to offer her a tribute in words and music, describing how she has touched their lives and created what she calls a more ‘embracive’ Constitution.”
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