Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Human Rights Commission is deeply saddened by the passing of civil rights champion, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and expresses condolences to her family and friends. Justice Ginsburg spent her life, right up until the end, fighting for equal rights and justice for everyone in our country. In her early years, she raised her young family and nursed a sick husband, while being scolded for taking a spot at Harvard Law School that “should” have gone to a man. She graduated first in her law school class, then became the first female professor at Columbia to earn tenure. She also directed the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union during the 1970s. In this position, she led the fight against gender discrimination and successfully argued six landmark cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, advocating for equal rights for men and women. As a Justice, she continued to fight for civil rights. She was a decisive vote in many important 5-4 decisions, and is also famous for her dissents, such as the one in Ledbetter v. Goodyear, regarding unequal pay for a woman. Her passing will undoubtedly cause uncertainty and concern about the future of civil rights cases. About her legacy, Justice Ginsburg said, "To make life a little better for people less fortunate than you, that's what I think a meaningful life is. One lives not just for oneself but for one's community." Justice Ginsburg was an inspiration to all of us who work for civil rights, and may we honor her legacy by continuing to do our best work on behalf of those who are still denied equality.