Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg honored, remembered as 'American treasure' during Chicago vigil

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Sunday, September 20, 2020
Chicago vigil pays tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
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Ruth Bader Ginsburg was remembered as small in stature but monumental in changing the trajectory of a nation at a vigil held in her honor in downtown Chicago Saturday night.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicagoans came together Saturday night to honor the life and legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Supreme Court Justice passed away Friday at the age of 87 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Dozens gathered for a vigil outside Chicago's Federal Building to pay their respects to a leader who spent her career fighting for justice.

Ginsburg might have been small in stature but she will be remembered as monumental in changing the trajectory of a nation.

"She was giant in her field," Representative Robin Kelly said at Saturday's vigil. "Small but mighty."

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The champion for women's rights was revered by those who knew her.

"She was truly an American treasure," said David Franklin, a former clerk to Ginsburg.

"To be able to work for her, even for a year, was just an incredible honor," he said, recalling his time with her in 1999.

Ginsburg was the court's second female justice. She was an impassioned powerhouse who gained "rock-star" status.

Franklin said while working for her, he got to know a more personal side of the judicial icon.

"A lot of people don't realize that because she has this image of the Notorious RBG and in fact, she's, she was very quiet. She was very reserved," Franklin said.

He said she was both reserved and unwavering.

It was that decisiveness and strength that empowered West Englewood native Vernita Cockrell to pursue her dreams of becoming a litigator.

"She stayed authentic to who she was. She stood her ground. As many times as she got bullied and pressured, she stood her ground and continued to pursue," Cockrell said.

Cockrell said she found a relatable role model in Justice Ginsburg.

"What I loved about her outside of things everybody else knows; I like the subtle things. Her appreciation for culture and femininity," Cockrell said.

As this notorious tireless advocate gets ready to be laid to rest, those honoring her Saturday say her crusade must continue.

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"Everyone raise your hand in solidarity of Ruth, repeat after me, 'In the name of Ruth I will fight,'" Mayor Lightfoot said at the vigil.

Lightfoot also weighed in Saturday on the already heated debate over who will replace Ginsburg and when, calling out what she called the "hypocrisy" among Republican Party leaders.