Quotes by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Wikipedia Summary for Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Joan Ruth Bader Ginsburg ( BAY-dər GHINZ-burg; née Bader; March 15, 1933 – September 18, 2020) was an American lawyer and jurist who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death in September 2020. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton, replacing retiring justice Byron White, and at the time was generally viewed as a moderate consensus-builder. She eventually became part of the liberal wing of the Court as the Court shifted to the right over time. Ginsburg was the first Jewish woman and the second woman to serve on the Court, after Sandra Day O'Connor. During her tenure, Ginsburg wrote notable majority opinions, including United States v. Virginia (1996), Olmstead v. L.C. (1999), Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc. (2000), and City of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation of New York (2005).
Ginsburg was born and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Her older sister died when she was a baby, and her mother died shortly before Ginsburg graduated from high school. She earned her bachelor's degree at Cornell University and married Martin D. Ginsburg, becoming a mother before starting law school at Harvard, where she was one of the few women in her class. Ginsburg transferred to Columbia Law School, where she graduated joint first in her class. During the early 1960s she worked with the Columbia Law School Project on International Procedure, learned Swedish and co-authored a book with Swedish jurist Anders Bruzelius; her work in Sweden profoundly influenced her thinking on gender equality. She then became a professor at Rutgers Law School and Columbia Law School, teaching civil procedure as one of the few women in her field.
Ginsburg spent much of her legal career as an advocate for gender equality and women's rights, winning many arguments before the Supreme Court. She advocated as a volunteer attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union and was a member of its board of directors and one of its general counsel in the 1970s. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where she served until her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993. Between O'Connor's retirement in 2006 and the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor in 2009, she was the only female justice on the Supreme Court. During that time, Ginsburg became more forceful with her dissents, notably in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (2007). Ginsburg's dissenting opinion was credited with inspiring the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009, making it easier for employees to win pay discrimination claims. Ginsburg received attention in American popular culture for her passionate dissents in numerous cases, widely seen as reflecting paradigmatically liberal views of the law. She was dubbed "The Notorious R.B.G.", and she later embraced the moniker.
Despite two bouts with cancer and public pleas from liberal law scholars, she decided not to retire when Democrats could appoint her successor in 2013. Ginsburg died at her home in Washington, D.C., on September 18, 2020, at the age of 87, from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. Despite Ginsburg's wish for her replacement not to be chosen "until a new president is installed" in regards to then-President Donald Trump, the Republican Senate majority in the 116th Congress confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to the vacancy created by Ginsburg's death on October 27, 2020. The appointment of Barrett was one of three major rightward shifts in the court since 1953, following the appointment of Clarence Thomas to replace Thurgood Marshall in 1991 and the appointment of Warren Burger to replace Earl Warren in 1969.
We've come a long way from the days where there was state-enforced segregation. But we still have a way to go.
There are some singers that know exactly when to go, and others hang on much too long and that is the same, that is the same with judges.
I think some of my colleagues' spicier lines are distracting. They draw attention away from what the justice is trying to say.
I always ask my law clerks, in addition to reading all the briefs, including all the amici briefs, that if there's a good law review article, they should bring it to me.
In sum, the Court's conclusion that a constitutionally adequate recount is impractical is a prophecy the Court's own judgment will not allow to be tested. Such an untested prophecy should not decide the Presidency of the United States.
No one who is in business for profit can foist his or her beliefs on a workforce that includes many people who do not share those beliefs.
Generalizations about the way women are and estimates of what is appropriate for most women no longer justify denying opportunity to women whose talent and capacity place them outside the average description.
Even the Declaration of Independence starts out all men are created equal, so I see my advocacy as part of an effort to make the equality principle everything the founders would have wanted it to be if they weren't held back by the society in which they lived and particularly the shame of slavery.
Whatever community organization, whether it's a women's organization, or fighting for racial justice ... you will get satisfaction out of doing something to give back to the community that you never get in any other way.
Yet what greater defeat could we suffer than to come to resemble the forces we oppose in their disrespect for human dignity?
Members of the legislature, people who have run for office, know the connection between money and influence on what laws get passed.
As De Tocqueville said, sooner or later in the United States, every controversy ends up in court. I think that's a great -- says great things about our judicial system.
I have yet to see a death case among the dozen coming to the Supreme Court on eve-of-execution stay applications in which the defendant was well represented at trial... People who are well represented at trial do not get the death penalty.
Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of.
Anger, resentment, envy, and self-pity are wasteful reactions. They greatly drain one's time. They sap energy better devoted to productive endeavors.
The Second Amendment has a preamble about the need for a militia. Because there is a need for a militia to be at the ready, therefore the right to keep and bear arms must be secured.
A judge sworn to decide impartially can offer no forecasts, no hints, for that would show not only disregard for the specifics of the particular case, it would display disdain for the entire judicial process.
I was tremendously fortunate to be alive and a lawyer, working at a university so I had more flexible hours, when the women's movement was coming alive and when it became possible to argue successfully for a view of the equal protection clause that included women.
I remember envying the boys long before I even knew the word feminism, because I liked shop better than cooking or sewing.
My rule was I will not answer a question that attempts to project how I will rule in a case that might come before the court.
A constitution, as important as it is, will mean nothing unless the people are yearning for liberty and freedom.
You can't have it all, all at once. Who -- man or woman -- has it all, all at once? Over my lifespan I think I have had it all. But in different periods of time things were rough. And if you have a caring life partner, you help the other person when that person needs it.
A prime part of the history of our Constitution is the story of the extension of constitutional rights to people once ignored or excluded.
Every constitution written since the end of World War II includes a provision that men and women are citizens of equal stature. Ours does not.
If you have a caring life partner, you help the other person when that person needs it. I had a life partner who thought my work was as important as his, and I think that made all the difference for me.
I've had two cancer bouts in my years on the Court, and the first one, Justice O'Connor told me, 'Now, you do the chemotherapy on Friday because you'll get over it during the weekend and you can be back in court on Monday.'
Reading is the key that opens doors to many good things in life. Reading shaped my dreams, and more reading helped me make my dreams come true.
Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.
The women of my generation and my daughter's generation, they were very active in moving along the social change that would result in equal citizenship stature for men and women.
I was a proponent of the ERA.
I was a proponent of the ERA. The women of my generation and my daughter's generation, they were very active in moving along the social change that would result in equal citizenship stature for men and women.
Most states in the union where the death penalty is theoretically on the books don't have executions.
I think a law clerk told me about this tumblr and also explained to me what Notorious RBG was a parody on. And now my grandchildren love it, and I try to keep abreast of the latest that's on the tumblr.
I certainly respect the belief of the Hobby Lobby owners. On the other hand, they have no constitutional right to foist that belief on the hundreds and hundreds of women who work for them who don't share that belief.
I'm sure I've changed my mind about something. Inevitably, when we grow up -- as we get more experience and wiser. Well, I've changed my mind about some food that I didn't like when I was young.
Remember that before 'Roe v. Wade' was decided, there were four states that allowed abortion in the first trimester if that's what the woman sought: New York, Hawaii, California, Alaska. Other states were shifting. And people were fighting over this issue in state legislatures.
My biographers... would like to have my time at the court almost complete before they finish the book. We decided... to flip the order.
The concern was that if a woman was doing gender equality, her chances of making it to tenure in the law school were diminished. It was considered frivolous.
It's a facet of the gay rights movement that people don't think about enough. Why suddenly marriage equality? Because it wasn't until 1981 that the court struck down Louisiana's 'head and master rule,' that the husband was head and master of the house.
I think we understand that for the Court to work well, we have to not only respect but genuinely like each other.
My resume showed membership on both the Harvard and Columbia Law Reviews, a credit impressive abroad where it was not generally known that Law Reviews were student-operated publications.
Feminism... I think the simplest explanation, and one that captures the idea, is a song that Marlo Thomas sang, 'Free to be You and Me.'
Each part of my life provided respite from the other and gave me a sense of proportion that classmates trained only on law studies lacked.
I was a super once -- an extra -- in 'Die Fledermaus,' and was seated within three feet of Placido Domingo. I had never heard a voice of that beauty so close up. It felt as if an electric shock were running through me.
I think members of the legislature, people who have to run for office, know the connection between money and influence on what laws get passed.
I think the notion that we have all the democracy that money can buy strays so far from what our democracy is supposed to be.
I do a variety of weight-lifting, elliptical glider, stretching exercises, push-ups.
I do a variety of weight-lifting, elliptical glider, stretching exercises, push-ups. And I do the Canadian Air Force exercises almost every day.
I was part of Jazzercise class. It was an aerobics routine accompanied by loud music, sounding quite awful to me. Jazzercise was popular in the '80s and '90s.
Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. Workers who sustain the operations of those corporations commonly are not drawn from one religious community.
Justice Scalia and I served together on the D.C. Circuit. So his votes are not surprising to me. What I like about him is that he's very funny and very smart.
The experience I don't want to see repeated occurred in 'Bush v. Gore.' The Court divided five to four. There were four separate dissents, and that confused the press. In fact, some of the reporters announced that the decision was seven-two. There was no time to get together.
Marty was an extraordinary person. Of all the boys I had dated, he was the only one who really cared that I had a brain. And he was always -- well, making me feel that I was better than I thought I was.
My mother graduated from high school at 15 and went to work to support the family because the eldest son went to college.
My mother was a powerful influence. She made me toe the line. If I didn't have a perfect report card, she showed her disappointment.
All I can say is I am sensitive to discrimination on any basis because I have experienced that upset.
The entering class I joined in 1956 included just nine women, up from five in the then second-year class, and only one African American. All professors, in those now-ancient days, were of the same race and sex.
You would have a huge statelessness problem if you don't consider a child born abroad a U.S. citizen.
Not a law firm in the entire city of New York bid for my employment as a lawyer when I earned my degree.
I can't imagine what this place would be -- I can't imagine what the country would be -- with Donald Trump as our president.
Arizona presents no specific reason for excepting capital defendants from the constitutional protections extended to defendants generally, and none is readily apparent.
The Sixth Amendment secures to persons charged with crime the right to be tried by an impartial jury reflecting a fair cross-section of the community.
The emphasis must be not on the right to abortion but on the right to privacy and reproductive control.
All respect for the office of the presidency aside, I assumed that the obvious and unadulterated decline of freedom and constitutional sovereignty, not to mention the efforts to curb the power of judicial review, spoke for itself.
Frankly, I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of.