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Ginsburg's Life, Legacy Celebrated In Vigils in San Antonio And Laredo

Hundreds of people gathered in front of the Bexar County Courthouse on Saturday night to celebrate the life of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday from cancer.

As dusk fell over the city, men, women and children held signs, laid down flowers, embraced each other and cradled candles. The scene was all the more poignant in the evening, as dozens of masked and mournful faces were bathed in the soft candlelight.

The crowd listened to speeches from activists and political leaders, including U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, who all urged the audience to do everything necessary to preserve Ginsburg's legacy.

“The history of our country is a history of promises and words in writing that, in reality, have never been fully delivered to so many in our country," he said. "And over time it’s been much easier in the United States to speak up for the powerful but much tougher to risk your repetition, your career, your livelihood, and your life for the more vulnerable in our nation. But that's exactly what Ruth Bader Ginsburg did for decades and decades as a legal champion.”

Judge Rosie Speedlin Gonzalez told the crowd that "Tonight we honor your incredible contributions. And tonight, we affirm you will always be, for all of us, the Notorious RBG."

Yolanda T. Huff, presiding judge in County Court of Law No. 12, said she did not want to focus on her sadness over Ginsburg. Rather, Huff asserted that Ginsburg made it possible for her and other women to become judges too. "Me, Judge Yolanda T. Huff, stands on the shoulders of giants," she said. "I stand on the shoulders of Ruth Bader Ginsburg."

The event ended with a moment of silence.

Ginsburg's memory was also celebrated in Laredo, where a small crowd gathered outside the federal courthouse to read Ginsburg’s biography and say a prayer in her honor.

“Though she may be gone, her spirit will always be here. Her legacy will always be here. Her impact will never go away,” said Juan Livas, one of the organizers. He then called on the crowd of Laredoans to lift their right fists and chant “present” in Spanish.

The vigils were the latest moments in a 24-hour cycle of reactions to her death and developments related to the vacancy she left on the court.

Maria Mendez can be reached at Maria@tpr.org and on Twitter at @anxious_maria. She's a corps member of Report For America.
Jolene Almendarez can be reached at JoleneAlmendarez@gmail.com and on Twitter at @jalmendarez57.

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