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U.S. Navy to name future ship after Ruth Bader Ginsburg

U.S. Navy to name future ship after Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The U.S. Navy on Thursday announced it was naming a future vessel after late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

March 31 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy announced Thursday that it will name a future ship after the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in honor of her tenure on the nation's highest court and her work as a women's rights activist.

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro made the announcement in a statement, saying her name with adorn a future John Lewis-class replenishment oiler.

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"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," Del Toro said. "She is a historic figure who vigorously advocated for women's rights and gender equality."

The T-AO is a new class of replenishment oiler ships designed to replace the United States' Henry J. Kaiser-class vessels with the Navy awarding a $3.2 billion contract to Genera Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company in San Diego for the design and construction of the first ships of its new fleet.

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Construction on these new ships began in September of 2018 with plans to produce 20 of these 742-foot-long vessels that can carry a load of 162,000 barrels of oil, according to the U.S. Navy.

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The first three of these ships are currently under construction, with the christening of the first one named after the late civil rights activist and House Rep. John Lewis having occurred in July.

The Navy said its name selection for the John Lewis-class vessel follows a naming convention to honor civil and human rights activists, with the first eight to be named after Lewis, U.S. politician Harvey Milk, former California Gov. Earl Warren, former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, abolitionist and suffragist Lucy Stone, abolitionist and women's rights activist Sojourner Truth, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and now Ginsburg.

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"As secretary of the Navy, it is my aim to ensure equality and eliminate gender discrimination across the Department of the Navy. [Ginsburg] 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," said Del Toro, who also named Ginsburg's daughter, Jane Ginsburg, as the ship's sponsor.

Ginsberg, the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, was nominated by then-President Bill Clinton to the nation's highest bench for which she was confirmed in 1993 and sat upon for 27 years until her death in September of 2020 at the age of 87.

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