The Virtual 2020 Fall Tax Meeting’s opening plenary session will feature a tribute to former Tax Section member Martin Ginsburg and his wife U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The tribute was inspired by the 2018 movie On the Basis of Sex, which depicts the Ginsburgs’ successful representation of the petitioner in a tax case involving an unmarried man’s expenses to care for his dependent mother. See Charles E. Moritz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 469 F.2d 466 (10th Cir. 1972) (overturning the Tax Court’s decision upholding the statute to find in favor of the petitioner-appellant based on invidious discrimination). Moritz v. Commissioner was the first time any provision in the Internal Revenue Code was overturned as unconstitutional, and it spurred Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s career advocating for gender equality.
The tribute was originally scheduled for the 2020 May Tax Meeting in Washington, D.C., which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Martin Ginsburg was a tax lawyer who was a member of the bar in New York and in the District of Columbia. He worked in multiple law firms and taught law at New York University, Columbia University, and Georgetown University. He was a long-time member of the Tax Section and received its Distinguished Service Award (DSA) in 2006. He was also a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and of the American Bar Foundation. Ginsburg died in 2010.
The tribute will include selections from Ginsburg’s DSA acceptance remarks, clips from On the Basis of Sex, and a recording of previous remarks from Justice Ginsburg. The Ginsburgs’ son James Ginsburg will participate in the tribute.
The opening plenary session will be held Tuesday, September 29, 10:30-11:30am Eastern Time, as part of the Virtual 2020 Fall Tax Meeting. Registration for the meeting is open, at https://www.americanbar.org/events-cle/mtg/web/395461209/. ■