News & Politics

RBG Fans Will Plank on the Supreme Court Steps for Her Birthday

About a thousand people have expressed interest in the March 15 demonstration.

Photograph by Evy Mages

Fans of Ruth Bader Ginsburg are about to get physical, physical. On March 15, DC-based resistance retailer The Outrage will throw a birthday party for the soon-to-be 86-year-old Supreme Court justice on the steps of her day job. But don’t expect a candle and some cupcakes: This party wants you to engage your core. Outrage owner Rebecca Lee Funk says over a thousand people have expressed interest in planking on the steps of the Supreme Court of the United States while singing Happy Birthday to laud their hero.

After a friend tipped her off to the idea, Funk got the green light from the federal government and threw up a Facebook event. Funk offers that this isn’t a one-time viral stunt. Coordinated with the opening of the Outrage’s members only activist space in Logan Circle, “Plank Like RBG” is the first of what Funk hopes to be several “celebratory” news-of-the-day-pegged events hosted by the shop, though she did not share what’s coming down the pike.

Why wouldn’t a card and flowers suffice? Funk believes that supporters should pay respect to the person Ginsburg has joked is the most important in her life: her trainer. Stephen Colbert pumped iron with Ginsberg, and her trainer Bryant Johnson has written a book on what keeps Ginsburg in fighting shape. So a fitness-based homage seemed like the most natural next step.

“The image of thousands of women planking on the steps of SCOTUS while singing ‘Happy Birthday’ is the most joyful act of resistance I can think of right now,” Funk says. “We recognize that resistance can and must be multi-faceted, and we encourage and equip our community to have courageous conversations, channel righteous anger into action, and in these instances, use joy as an act of resistance.”

Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.