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Kansas City community reacts to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death

Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg released from hospital
Posted at 7:40 PM, Sep 18, 2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City-area leaders are among those offering their thoughts and condolences as the world reacts to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death.

She died Friday at age 87 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said she is "incredibly saddened by this news."

Kelly also announced that she signed an Executive Order 20-30 on Friday, which directs U.S. flags be flown at half-staff in the state from now "until the day of interment" in Ginsburg's honor.

“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her life serving our country with passion and integrity,” Kelly said. “She was an agent for change, an advocate for the voiceless, and her legacy will live on in decisions that made America more equitable for all of us.”

U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas Stephen McAllister offered a passionate and moving statement about the personal experience with Ginsburg:

Justice Ginsburg joined the Court after I was a law clerk. That said, she replaced my first Justice, Byron R. White, after he retired in 1993. She visited the KU Law School while I was Dean, and I had the pleasure of co-teaching a summer study abroad course with her in Istanbul, Turkey, a course that focused on equal protection law, her particular passion. She and her husband, Marty, were a delight in that summer program. Every one of my nine oral arguments before the Supreme Court included Justice Ginsburg, who often had pointed questions for me, but who also made a point of referring to me as “General McAllister” when I appeared for Kansas in my role as Solicitor General. She was fastidious in both her respect for advocates and her preparation for oral arguments.

Physically tiny, the Justice was in so many ways a giant. No one who is objectively and intellectually honest can deny that claim. I firmly believe my mentor Justice Thomas would agree with my assertion, as would have her dear friend Justice Scalia.

Irrespective of jurisprudential or philosophical views, I had the utmost respect for Justice Ginsburg as a person. I, my wife who soon will become an elected state prosecutor, and our four daughters, are profoundly grateful to RBG for forever changing for the better the legal landscape for American women and equal rights, allowing them to seek opportunities, achieve their goals, and excel on equal footing with men across the entire spectrum of American economy and its variety of professions and pursuits.
Stephen McAllister, U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas

Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson also shared his own personal encounter with Ginsburg and another late U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, a in a series of tweets.

Thompson also posted a video to Instagram.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II, a U.S. Representative from Missouri, called Ginsburg's death "a terrible loss for the nation."

Rep. Sam Graves, a Republican congressman from Missouri, offered his condolences as well.

Former Sen. Bob Dole, a Republican from Kansas who ran as the Republican nominee for president in 1996, called Ginsburg "an intellectual giant."

Missouri State Auditor and gubernatorial candidate Nicole Galloway said Ginsburg was "a force for good on the Supreme Court."

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, who is running against Galloway, said his family is sending prayers Ginsburg's.

Barbara Bollier, the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate vacancy in Kansas, said her heart is heavy with Ginsburg's loss.

Bollier's opponent in November's election, Dr. Roger Marshall, said he and his wife, Laina, are praying for Ginsburg's family.

The man whose seat Bollier and Marshall are vying to fill, retiring Sen. Pat Roberts, a long-serving Kansas Republican, lauded Ginsburg's "service and dedication" as well as "the legacy she leaves behind."

Sen. Jerry Moran, who also represents Kansas alongside Roberts, called Ginsburg a "trailblazer."

Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, also acknowledged Ginsburg's passing.

Hawley, a first-term senator, was on President Trump's list of possible Supreme Court nominees, which the White House released earlier this month. The Senator from Missouri said he had "no interest in the high court."

Sharice Davids, who serves in the U.S. House of Representatives for Kansas' third congressional district, expressed her condolences on Ginsburg's death, stating that she is "heartbroken."

Davids' opponent, Amanda Adkins, also expressed sympathy.

Kansas City, Missouri, Quinton Lucas offered no words, just a solemn acknowledgment of Ginsburg's passing on Twitter.

But Lucas did offer his thoughts on Ginsburg's passing in an interview with 41 Action News.

"Her legacy will simply be this — someone who is brilliant and someone who cared and someone who was able to use institutions as they existed and was able to mold them in a way to really create equality and justice," he said.

Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla, a Democrat who is running for a U.S. House seat, said she is "broken" and speechless from the news.

Despite the fact that he blocked President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland from being voting on in the Senate when Scalia died in February 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to bring any nominee put forth by President Trump, who is up for reelection Nov. 3, to a vote.