Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro announced Thursday that the Navy is naming a ship after former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, getting the announcement out just under the wire as Women’s History Month came to a close.
Ginsburg’s name will be on a ship that is not yet built, but it will be a John Lewis-class replenishment oiler, according to a Navy news release.
The Lewis class of ships has been used to memorialize other liberal icons, including Sen. Robert F. Kennedy of New York, former Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, gay activist Harvey Milk and Lewis himself, who was a civil rights activist before serving 17 terms as a Georgia congressman.
Other ships of the class yet to be built will be named for abolitionist Sojourner Truth, former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and women’s rights activist Lucy Stone.
“As we close out women’s history month, it is my absolute honor to name the next T-AO after the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is a historic figure who vigorously advocated for women’s rights and gender equality,” Del Toro said in a statement.
“As Secretary of the Navy, it is my aim to ensure equality and eliminate gender discrimination across the Department of the Navy. She is instrumental to why we now have women of all backgrounds, experiences and talents serving within our ranks, side by side with their male Sailor and Marine counterparts,” he said.
The Navy release cited Ginsburg for her work on the case of United States v. Virginia, which ended Virginia Military Institute’s men-only admissions policy.
The announcement had Twitter buzzing.
U.S. Navy to Name New Ship After Commie Ginsburg https://t.co/gMA881T0Ps
— VeryStableGeniusTrump2️⃣⏺2️⃣4⃣🍊 (@RealTrump2020_) April 1, 2022
Doesn’t the US Navy still have a ship named the Constitution? They won’t be able to run both ships together in the same fleet, because if the Ginsburg ship is like its namesake, its course will always be as far away from the Constitution as possible.
— Brett Bannor (@brettbannor) April 1, 2022
US Navy will name a ship after Ruth Bader Ginsburg | CNN — NB: instead of naming a US Navy ship after the first female USSC justice, they have decided to name the ship after someone who did not hire Blacks and other minorities until after her confirmation. https://t.co/hL2PqhNkBf
— Seamus (@TruthSeekerMurf) April 1, 2022
I’m sure that America’s enemies are just quacking in their boots after hearing this.
— Freedom Over Fear Hawkeye (@BFryowa) April 1, 2022
T-AO ships are designed to transfer fuel to the Navy’s carrier strike groups, the Navy said.
Oilers can carry 162,000 barrels of oil.
The justice’s daughter, Jane Ginsburg, was named the ship’s sponsor, which means she will have a lead role in all of the ceremonies connected with the ship, such as its christening and commissioning.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the second woman to serve on the court after Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Ginsburg was a fierce member of the court’s liberal wing and an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump.
She died of cancer in 2020, setting the stage for Trump’s appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the court.
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