Quest for Ruth: Beep wants Downtown building named for Justice Ginsburg

Quest for Ruth: Beep wants Downtown building named for Justice Ginsburg
Associated Press / Stephan Savoia

He’s down with RBG!

Brooklyn’s Municipal Building on Joralemon Street could soon bear the name of Kings County’s own born-and-bred U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, if Mayor DeBlasio signs off on the renaming recently requested by Borough President Adams.

The beep penned a letter to Hizzoner on Sept. 20 asking him to use his executive power to christen Downtown’s stately, columned structure across the street from Borough Hall for the second female justice to join the country’s top court in order to honor the 85-year-old while she is still writing opinions on the bench, he said.

“In an era where popular culture puts performing artists and sports stars on a public pedestal, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has risen to incredible levels of iconic admiration and love,” Adams’s missive read. “Society often waits to recognize a lifetime of accomplishment until after that lifetime ends. In this case, we can honor the life and service of Ruth Bader Ginsburg during what we hope will be a long and active remaining life.”

Ginsburg — whose life provided the inspiration for two films this year, the documentary “RBG” and the forthcoming drama “On the Basis of Sex” — began her journey to the Supreme Court bench in her native Flatbush, where Adams said her childhood as the daughter of Jewish immigrants is a “quintessential New York story.”

She went on to study at James Madison High School, where Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders also got his diploma, before graduating from Cornell University and then Columbia University Law School, where she was first in her class.

And following her time in school, Ginsburg went on to co-found the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union early in her legal career.

The octogenarian known to don gloves and intricate collars with her robes has become a national sensation in her time on the court, earning a recurring “Saturday Night Live” portrayal by Kate McKinnon and such loving nicknames as “Notorious RBG,” and after celebrating her 25th year on the bench in August, the time is ripe to recognize her heroism and leadership, according to the beep.

“She has been a trailblazer and hero to many,” he wrote in his letter. “She rose to the apex of her profession, staying true to her ideals and principles.”

Adams’s proposal, for which he also created an online petition that by the afternoon of Sept. 28 collected more than 500 signatures after launching two days earlier, comes amid a growing controversy surrounding the Supreme Court and President Trump’s nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh — whom multiple women have accused of sexual assault — to fill its vacant seat.

Hizzoner is reviewing the request, which a slew of Brooklyn Heights pols and local leaders including state Sen. Brian Kavanagh, Councilman Stephen Levin, and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon also signed, according to a spokeswoman, who said Ginsburg’s is the quintessential public service success story and should be honored.

“There’s no question that Justice Ginsburg’s life and her legacy of public service epitomizes the very best of what makes New York great,” said Marcy Miranda.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
New name: Borough President Adams wants Downtown's Municipal Building renamed after Ginsburg.
Community News Group / Ruth Brown