“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
As we look ahead to 2021 and moving law forward in the new year, we also pause to reflect on 2020 and the enduring change the past year brought.
Nationally, the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Bostock v Clayton County extended workplace protections to cover sexual orientation and gender identity. The decision came after decades of dedicated work by attorneys who fought to make it clear that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also shields the LGBTQ from discrimination on the job.
At the state level two of our founders, M. Malissa Burnette and Kathleen McDaniel, fought to protect South Carolina Planned Parenthood clinics from politically motivated funding cuts. This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the state’s appeal of a lower-court ruling that blocked the funding freeze while the full case is being resolved. This means that South Carolina Medicaid recipients have the right to choose any qualified healthcare provider, including Planned Parenthood.
And this summer, every attorney at Burnette Shutt & McDaniel joined hundreds of lawyers across the state to speak out against discrimination in the legal profession. “In the wake of George Floyd’s death and widespread calls for self-examination and reform, now is the time for the legal profession to speak up loudly and clearly for equal justice under law and against discrimination,” the attorneys wrote in a joint letter to the South Carolina Supreme Court and South Carolina Bar.
The past year has been at times tumultuous, but it’s also been encouraging. We’ve seen one-step-at-a-time change, even as we lost one of its enduring champions in Justice Ginsburg. We’ve rallied together, to shine the light that lifts up our community and our country.
We look forward to continuing to work together in 2021, to move law forward in a continued push for enduring change.