On Friday, September 18th, it was revealed that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg–the second woman to ever serve on the court, and the first Jewish justice–passed away from complications from her battle with pancreatic cancer. Ginsburg, who served on the court since 1993, was an icon in her own right. Something of a pop culture icon these days, Ginsburg was, for many women around the world, a symbol of hope and success that drove them forward. 

Ginsburg was born in 1933 and so when she was going to law school, the country was still plagued by rampant sexism and Ginsburg’s journey through law school and into the legal profession was anything but easy, but she kept fighting on. She worked with the ACLU to fight against gender-based discrimination, and if you haven’t see the film On the Basis of Sex about these fights, it is a must-watch more than ever. 

Ginsburg was an ardent feminist, a supporter of other women and minorities and upholding their rights, and she will be missed by so many. Her role in the fight for womens’ rights cannot be understated. She was the first of so many things–blazing trails and breaking glass ceilings and doing it with the personality and fire we all knew so well in her final years. 

One of my favorite quotes from her was, “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”

Countless politicians and female activists point to Ginsburg as a leading mentor in their life–whether they ever met her or not–and the loss of her both on the court and in the political ethos will reverberate for years to come. 

Throughout her life, Ginsburg faced numerous health issues but also powered on, so her death came as a mighty shock.  Her tiny stature was well-known, but her vigor was never doubted. 

Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement on Friday, “Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tired and resolute champion of justice.”

No doubt Ginsburg’s death less than two months before a highly-anticipated political election will dominate the headlines, but I hope that we can all take this moment–if only this moment–to remember Ginsburg as she would want to be remembered. Not as a pawn in some political gain, but as a brilliant, scholarly woman with strong convictions, a fierce heart, and a legacy for women around the globe.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member