65 Exceptional Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes About The Fight For Justice
An outstanding jurist and the second woman ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg trail blazed through the American legal landscape and left a remarkable legacy as a legal and cultural icon. A true warrior of human rights and gender equality, Ginsburg challenged established stereotypes and became an inspiring role model for women’s rights and female empowerment. As an expression of praise and respect, here we have collected for you the most exceptional Ruth Bader Ginsburg quotes about the fight for justice and equity, in order to inspire strength and purpose to keep fighting for a better world.
Born in 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, Ginsburg studied at Cornell University and subsequently attended Harvard Law School, before transferring to Columbia Law School, where she completed her legal education. A victim of gender discrimination herself, she tackled great challenges while a law student, having to juggle motherhood, caring for her sick husband and her demanding legal studies. She became the first tenured female professor at Columbia Law School and the co-founder of the “Women’s Rights Project” at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), before her nomination as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton.
For more than 25 years, Justice Ginsburg served the bench with passion and prudence, tirelessly fighting to defend the rights of women, the vulnerable and marginalized social groups. She was the first Supreme Court Justice to officiate a same sex marriage and during her tenure she authored numerous opinions, but also issued powerful dissents, gaining immense popularity and becoming a cultural icon especially among the younger generation. Her brilliant mind and unique ability to transcend differences and divides garnered her respect across the political spectrum. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the legal crusader for women’s rights and resolute champion of justice, passed away at the age of 87 from complications of metastatic cancer of the pancreas.
Table of Contents
- Powerful RBG Quotes to Motivate You to Act for a Better Society
- Inspirational RBG Quotes For Social Justice and Democracy
- Feminist Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes To Bring Women’s Rights To The Front
- RBG Quotes About Abortion
- Powerful RBG Quotes From A Supreme Role Model
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes About Her Life and Her Beliefs
- Insightful RBG Quotes About The Constitution
Powerful RBG Quotes to Motivate You to Act for a Better Society
Recognizing the humanity of others and respecting their dignity is the first step to a better world. The following collection of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s most powerful quotes will ignite the spark and motivate you to act for a better society.
- So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- The written argument endures. The oral argument is fleeting. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Whatever you choose to do, leave tracks. That means don’t do it just for yourself. You will want to leave the world a little better for your having lived. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- I tell law students, if you’re going to be a lawyer & just practice your profession, you have a skill—very much like a plumber. But if you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself, something that makes life…better for people less fortunate… Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- If we gave up our freedom as the price of security, we would no longer be the great nation that we are. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- 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. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Work hard on each opinion, but once the case is decided, don’t look back; go on to the next case and give it your all. It’s not productive to worry about what’s out and released, over and done. That’s advice I now give to people new to the judging business. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Inspirational RBG Quotes For Social Justice and Democracy
Social justice means inclusive growth and this is a key factor for a democracy. Reflect upon this list of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s inspirational quotes to broaden your perspective on the pursuit of social justice and democracy.
- We should learn … to do our best for the sake of our communities and for the sake of those for whom we pave the way. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- When contemplated in its extreme, almost any power looks dangerous. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- We live in an age in which the fundamental principles to which we subscribe – liberty, equality and justice for all – are encountering extraordinary challenges, … But it is also an age in which we can join hands with others who hold to those principles and face similar challenges. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- The greatest statement of equality is in the Declaration of Independence, written by a slaveholder. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- If there was one decision I would overrule, it would be Citizens United. 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. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- 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. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Promoting active liberty does not mean allowing the majority to run roughshod over minorities. It calls for taking special care that all groups have a chance to fully participate in society and the political process. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- 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 take. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- 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. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Feminist Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes To Bring Women’s Rights To The Front
Embraced by many as an exemplary feminist icon, Ruth Bader Ginsburg played a pivotal role in bringing women’s rights to the front and challenging every law that discriminated on the basis of gender stereotypes.
- Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Women’s rights are an essential part of the overall human rights agenda, trained on the equal dignity and ability to live in freedom all people should enjoy. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- When I’m sometimes asked ‘When will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court]?’ and I say ‘When there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- It is not women’s liberation, it is women’s and men’s liberation. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- When I graduated from law school in 1959, there wasn’t a single woman on any federal bench. It wouldn’t be a realistic ambition for a woman to want to become a federal judge. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Adult women are able to make decisions about their own lives’ course no less than men are. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- 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. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- It’s an unconscious bias. It’s the expectation. You have a lowered expectation when you hear a woman speaking, I think that still goes on. That instinctively when a man speaks, he will be listened to, where people will not expect the woman to say anything of value. But all of the women in my generation have had, time and again, that experience where you say something at a meeting, and nobody makes anything of it. And maybe half an hour later, a man makes the identical point, and people react to it and say, ‘Good idea.’ That, I think, is a problem that persists. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- 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.’ Free to be, if you were a girl—doctor, lawyer, Indian chief. Anything you want to be. And if you’re a boy, and you like teaching, you like nursing, you would like to have a doll, that’s OK too. That notion that we should each be free to develop our own talents, whatever they may be, and not be held back by artificial barriers—manmade barriers, certainly not heaven sent. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- I conceived of myself in large part as a teacher. There wasn’t a great understanding of gender discrimination. People knew that race discrimination was an odious thing, but there were many who thought that all the gender-based differentials in the law operated benignly in women’s favor. So my objective was to take the Court step by step to the realization, in Justice Brennan’s words, that the pedestal on which some thought women were standing all too often turned out to be a cage. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- 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. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- One thing that concerns me is that today’s young women don’t seem to care that we have a fundamental instrument of government that makes no express statement about the equal citizenship stature of men and women. They know there are no closed doors anymore, and they may take for granted the rights that they have. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
RBG Quotes About Abortion
The Roe v. Wade decision was a landmark Supreme Court ruling, recognizing the right to abortion. Ginsburg, although a staunch supporter of abortion rights, criticized the Roe v. Wade decision on the premise that rendering every abortion restriction illegal would harm the evolution of abortion rights.
- The state controlling a woman would mean denying her full autonomy and full equality. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- The emphasis must be not on the right to abortion but on the right to privacy and reproductive control. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- The irony and tragedy is any woman of means can have a safe abortion somewhere in the United States. But women lacking the wherewithal to travel can’t. There is no big constituency out there concerned about access restrictions on poor women. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- The impact of all these restrictions is on poor women, because women who have means, if their state doesn’t provide access, another state does. … It makes no sense as a national policy to promote birth only among poor people. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Reproductive choice has to be straightened out. There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore. That just seems to me so obvious. The states that changed their abortion laws before Roe are not going to change back. So we have a policy that only affects poor women, and it can never be otherwise. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Powerful RBG Quotes From A Supreme Role Model
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a force of change and a powerful role model for female empowerment. The following quotes will allow you to appreciate why this legal colossus is the most notorious role model.
- It’s great to be in the position of asking questions and not having to answer questions. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Anger, resentment, envy, and self-pity are wasteful reactions. They greatly drain one’s time. They sap energy better devoted to productive endeavors. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- 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. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- 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. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Sometimes people say unkind or thoughtless things, and when they do, it is best to be a little hard of hearing — to tune out and not snap back in anger or impatience. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- 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. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- 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. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes About Her Life and Her Beliefs
A collection of handpicked, enlightening quotes by Ruth Bader Ginsburg about her life and her beliefs that will allow you a better understanding and deeper connection with this remarkable woman and pioneer jurist.
- If I had any talent God could give me, I would be a great diva. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- 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. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- I think our system is being polluted by money. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- I became a lawyer for selfish reasons. I thought I could do a lawyer’s job better than any other. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- 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. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- I am a judge born, raised, and proud of being a Jew. The demand for justice runs through the entirety of the Jewish tradition. I hope, in my years on the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States, I will have the strength and the courage to remain constant in the service of that demand. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- My dissenting opinions, like my briefs, are intended to persuade. And sometimes one must be forceful about saying how wrong the Court’s decision is. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Depriving a parent of parental status is as devastating as a criminal conviction. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- If I resign any time this year, he [President Obama] could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see in the court. … Anybody who thinks that if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, they’re misguided. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- 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. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Insightful RBG Quotes About The Constitution
Ruth Bader Ginsburg believed in a living Constitution, a fundamental instrument of government that was not static but could adapt to the times. Ruminate upon the following quotes to get a deep insight into her beliefs about the Constitution.
- A prime part of the history of our Constitution is the story of the extension of constitutional rights to people once ignored or excluded. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- I didn’t change the Constitution; the equality principle was there from the start. I just was an advocate for seeing its full realization. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- There is a Constitutional right to prostitution. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- 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. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- A constitution, as important as it is, will mean nothing unless the people are yearning for liberty and freedom. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- The Second Amendment is outdated in the sense that its function has become obsolete. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Historically, the new government had no money to pay for an army, so they relied on the state militias. And the states required men to have certain weapons and they specified in the law what weapons these people had to keep in their home so that when they were called to do service as militiamen, they would have them. That was the entire purpose of the Second Amendment. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, affectionately described as “Notorious RBG”, was known for her groundbreaking opinions and blistering dissents on major social issues, like women’s rights, gender equality and social justice. Mighty and fiercely determined, she changed the American legal landscape and set an inspiring example of what is possible when you have the courage to speak your mind and stand for what is right. The power is in your hands! Make a difference and try to leave the world a little better than you found it!
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