Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg celebrated her 86th birthday on Friday, and so did hundreds of her fans. Social media was full of "plank like RBG" photos on Friday, with fans paying tribute to Ginsburg by mimicking a move from her notoriously grueling workout routine.
The second woman and oldest justice on the high court, Ginsburg's exercise routine has attracted quite a bit of attention. This is largely because it's not merely an intense workout for an 85-year-old; it's an intense workout for anybody, as Politico's Ben Schreckinger discovered when he decided to give it a try in 2017. After going through Ginsburg's routine with her personal trainer, Schreckinger — who describes himself as "young and reasonably fit" — said that the octogenarian's standard workout "nearly broke" him, and left him feeling "sore, disoriented and cranky."
Part of that workout included planking, Schreckinger reported, a sort of suspended-animation pushup meant to build core strength. Ginsburg was also spotted planking with Stephen Colbert during a 2018 segment on The Late Show, and a photo of her doing the exercise from the documentary RBG went viral that same year.
In celebration of the progressive feminist icon's signature workout move, fans of Ginsburg took photos of themselves planking in honor of her birthday.
Some posed in front of the Supreme Court building itself, while others planked locally.
The whole idea of planking like Ginsburg was started by The Outrage, an apparel company that sells feminist-themed clothes (and donates a portion of the proceeds to progressive organizations). As of this writing, the company's Facebook page for the event had 601 "attendees" and over 2,000 people "interested" in participating.
Ginsburg's health has become a topic of interest in recent years due to the Supreme Court's gradual drift to the right, and Ginsburg's role as a one of the most liberal justices on the bench.
Senate Republicans' blockade of Merrick Garland, Barack Obama's nominee to replace Antonin Scalia on the court, deprived progressives of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a majority on the court, while Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation in 2018 swung the court's ideological balance significantly to the right and solidified conservatives' majority among the nine justices.
This, of course, makes the health of every one of the court's liberal justices a matter of great importance to progressives, and Ginsburg is no exception. For her part, she said in 2018 that she'd like to stay on the court for "at least" five more years, at which point she'll be 90.
Over the course of her quarter-century on the bench, Ginsburg has achieved a near-legendary status among progressives for her liberal judicial ideology and unapologetic feminism (When asked at what point there will be "enough" women on the Supreme Court, Ginsburg replied, "when there are nine"). She's issued rulings in landmark cases regarding same-sex marriage, abortion, pay equality, voting rights, Obamacare and a host of other crucially important public policy issues.
In addition to planking, Ginsburg supporters in New York celebrated her birthday by petitioning local officials to change the name of the Brooklyn Municipal Building to honor her, as she grew up in Brooklyn.