Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg (March 15, 1933 – September 18, 2020) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. She was the second female justice (after Sandra Day O'Connor) and was one of three female justices serving on the Supreme Court (along with Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan). She was generally viewed as belonging to the liberal wing of the Court. Before becoming a judge, Ginsburg spent a considerable portion of her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of women's rights as a constitutional principle. She advocated as a volunteer lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union and was a member of its board of directors and one of its general counsel in the 1970s. She was a professor at Rutgers School of Law–Newark and Columbia Law School. Ginsburg died on September 18, 2020.
- The emphasis must not be on the right to abortion but on the right to privacy and reproductive control.
- Interview, Ms. magazine (April 1974)
- Neither federal nor state government acts compatibly with equal protection when a law or official policy denies to women, simply because they are women, full citizenship stature — equal opportunity to aspire, achieve, participate in and contribute to society based on their individual talents and capacities.
- Writing for the court, United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996)
- 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. I dissent.
- Dissenting, Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000)
- Dissents speak to a future age. It's not simply to say, "My colleagues are wrong and I would do it this way." But the greatest dissents do become court opinions and gradually over time their views become the dominant view. So that's the dissenter's hope: that they are writing not for today but for tomorrow.
- 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.
- Interview, The New York Times Magazine (7 July 2009)
- Nine, nine... There have been nine men there for a long, long time, right? So why not nine women?
- You're saying, no, State did two kinds of marriage, the full marriage, and then this sort of skim milk marriage.
- Undocumented aliens unfortunately are not protected by the law and they are tremendously subjected to exploitation. The result is that they would be willing to work for a wage that no person who is welcome in our shores would, would take. I think the answer to that problem is in Congress' lap. People who have been hardworking, tax paying, those people ought to be given an opportunity to be on a track that leads towards citizenship and if that happened, then they wouldn't be prey to the employers who say "we want you because we know that you work for a salary we could not lawfully pay anyone else."
- 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.
- Dissenting, Shelby County v. Holder (2013)
- The great man who led the march from Selma to Montgomery and there called for the passage of the Voting Rights Act foresaw progress, even in Alabama,” she wrote. “‘The arc of the moral universe is long,’ he said, but ‘it bends toward justice,’ if there is a steadfast commitment to see the task through to completion.
- Opinion announcement from the bench by Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the 2013 United Supreme States Court case Shelby County v. Holder (June 25, 2013). As quoted by Joyce White Vance (September 21, 2020): Ideas: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lost Her Battle to Save Voting Rights. Here's How We Can Take Up the Fight and Honor Her Legacy. In: Time Magazine. Archived from the original on October 2, 2020. Also quoted by Adam Liptak (June 25, 2013): Supreme Court Invalidates Key Part of Voting Rights Act. In: The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 2, 2020. Also quoted by Abigail Perkiss (March 15, 2015): The Voting Rights Act at 50: Racial justice, federal protection, and the fight for local control. In: National Constitution Center. Archived from the original on November 1, 2020.
- Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.
- Statement of advice on being presented the Radcliffe Medal, as quoted in "Honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg" by Colleen Walsh, in The Harvard Gazette (29 May 2015)
- 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.
- My Own Words (2016)
- If the Senate is not acting, what can be done about it? Even if you could conceive of a testing lawsuit, what would the response be? 'Well, you want us to vote, so we'll vote no.' I do think cooler heads will prevail, I hope sooner rather than later. The president is elected for four years not three years, so the power he has in year three continues into year four. Maybe members of the Senate will wake up and appreciate that that's how it should be.
- As quoted in "Ginsburg suggests Senate should act on Garland nomination, but says it cannot be forced to" by Robert Barnes, Washington Post (7 September 2016)
- There's nothing in the Constitution that says the President stops being President in his last year.
- As quoted in "Ruth Bader Ginsburg, No Fan of Donald Trump, Critiques Latest Term" by Adam Liptak, The New York Times (10 July 2016)
- Eight is not a good number for a collegial body that sometimes disagrees.
- As quoted in "Ruth Bader Ginsburg Suggests Senate Should Confirm Merrick Garland in Lame-Duck Session" by Katie Reilly, TIME (12 October 2016)
- I have heard that there are some people on the Democratic side who would like to increase the number of judges. I think that was a bad idea... I am not at all in favor of that solution.
- As quoted in "NPR Interview with Justice Ginsburg: 'I'm Still Very Much Alive'", npr.org (24 July 2019)
- My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.
- Ginsburg's statement dictated to her granddaughter a few days before her death, as reported in "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion Of Gender Equality, Dies At 87" by Nina Totenberg, NPR.org (18 September 2020)
Quotes about Ginsberg
- I think performing Oscar the first time in Santa Fe is really what prompted me to look into proposing to my husband Scott, because it just seemed right. You know, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a huge advocate for Oscar and talked about in interviews. She came to the performances in Santa Fe and we were able to meet her and take photos with her. So it all just made sense: I think Prop 8 failed at that time, states started to make marriage legal, and it just all seemed right. So, yeah, we got married between the two runs of Oscar, and fortunately, Justice Ginsburg married us in D.C., which was such an honor. I still look back to that day and can’t really believe it! I asked her, and she said if I could come to Washington, D.C., she would be happy to do it.
- Well, there are all kind of hearts. There are bleeding hearts and there are hard hearts. And if I wanted to judge Justice Ginsburg on her heart, I might take a hard-hearted view of her and say she’s a bleeding heart. She represents the ACLU. She wants the age of consent to be 12. She believes there’s a constitutional right to prostitution. What kind of heart is that?
- I guess where I am on this, if you look at Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I mean, she — the Ginsburg rule, she doesn’t have to answer specific questions, clearly pro-choice going in, thinks there may even be a constitutional right to polygamy, has a controversial view we should lower the age of consent to 12, supports legalized prostitution, very left-wing.
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Voices on Antisemitism: Interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg, video produced by Makers: Women Who Make America
- Supreme Court Associate Justice Nomination Hearings on Ruth Bader Ginsburg in July 1993
- Membership at the Council on Foreign Relations