As a woman, I owe Ruth Bader Ginsburg a huge debt. She’s usually not spoken of in the same breath as Gloria Steinem, but she probably did as much as or more than Steinem for women’s equality. Her early work was with the ACLU, and then she began on the cause to which she devoted decades of her life: ending discrimination on the basis of gender. Justice Ginsburg was by no means a shrinking violet, but she chose to fight for her beliefs via reasoned, rational arguments and legal advocacy rather than through protests or platforms. Oddly, although she personally believed absolutely in a woman’s right to choose, she disagreed with the basis of the Roe v. Wade decision, a testament to her utter respect for the law.
Justice Ginsburg did not confine herself to the issue of women’s equality, however. She was a staunch advocate for all citizens, notably in her attempt to prevent a 2013 gutting of the Voting Rights Act. Her dissent in that case was impassioned and scathing, and completely on point, given the rampant voter suppression we’re witnessing today.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought the good fight, devoting a uniquely brilliant career to upholding the law and tirelessly working for the betterment of the country. She espoused and promoted the values that are supposed to define the United States. And thereby, she became a legend. We have lost one of the fairest, most learned, eloquent, and insightful jurists to ever grace the bench, a small woman with a giant influence. In these disastrous times that cry out for the kind of honesty, compassion, and intellect she possessed, that loss is immeasurable. Thank you, RBG. Rest in peace.
“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”