Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg addressed a Thomas Jefferson School of Law audience in February 2013 in San Diego
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg addressed a Thomas Jefferson School of Law audience in February 2013 in San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

The Navy plans to name a ship on order at NASSCO after late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in honor of her advocacy for women’s rights and gender equality.

The future USNS Ruth Bader Ginsburg will the 8th fleet oiler in the John Lewis class. The 750-foot-long vessel to be built in Barrio Logan will provide underway replenishment of fuel and cargo to allow Navy warships to operate worldwide.

“She is a historic figure who vigorously advocated for women’s rights and gender equality,” said Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said in a statement on Thursday.

“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.

Del Toro cited Ginsburg’s work issuing the majority opinion for United States v. Virginia, a landmark 1996 case that struck down Virginia Military Institute’s male-only admissions policy.

Ginsburg became a heroine to the American left after overcoming entrenched sexism in the legal profession to ascend to the Supreme Court, where she championed gender equality and other liberal causes during 27 years on the bench. She died on Sept. 18, 2020, at age 87 of complications from pancreatic cancer.

The Navy is naming all of the ships in the John Lewis class after Americans who have championed civil rights.

The first and second vessels, the USNS John Lewis and USNS Harvey Milk, have already been launched. The future USNS Robert F. Kennedy and USNS Earl Warren are under construction at the shipyard.

Reuters contributed to this article.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.