U.S. Navy to name ship after late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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WASHINGTON, April 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy plans to name a ship after late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in honor of her advocacy for women's rights and gender equality.

"She is a historic figure who vigorously advocated for women’s rights and gender equality," Secretary of the Navy 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."

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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 U.S. 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 future USNS Ruth Bader Ginsburg (T-AO 212) will be a John Lewis-class replenishment oiler (T-AO) ship, a class of vessel named after late civil rights leader and U.S. Representative John Lewis. The oilers transfer fuel to the Navy's operating carrier strike groups and can hold 162,000 barrels of oil.

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Reporting by Doina Chiacu Editing by Frances Kerry

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