NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, September 18th, 2020

Read tributes to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from national and regional leaders

The death of Jus­tice Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg is a huge tragedy for the Unit­ed States and the world at a time of great per­il for human­i­ty. Her pass­ing has deeply affect­ed mil­lions and prompt­ed lead­ers at the local, state, and fed­er­al lev­els to reflect on her incred­i­ble life and lega­cy. Below is a com­pendi­um of state­ments NPI has received hon­or­ing the late Jus­tice and all that she accom­plished.

Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma:

Six­ty years ago, Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg applied to be a Supreme Court clerk. She’d stud­ied at two of our finest law schools and had ring­ing rec­om­men­da­tions. But because she was a woman, she was reject­ed.

Ten years lat­er, she sent her first brief to the Supreme Court — which led it to strike down a state law based on gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion for the first time. And then, for near­ly three decades, as the sec­ond woman ever to sit on the high­est court in the land, she was a war­rior for gen­der equal­i­ty — some­one who believed that equal jus­tice under law only had mean­ing if it applied to every sin­gle Amer­i­can.

Over a long career on both sides of the bench — as a relent­less lit­i­ga­tor and an inci­sive jurist — Jus­tice Gins­burg helped us see that dis­crim­i­na­tion on the basis of sex isn’t about an abstract ide­al of equal­i­ty; that it doesn’t only harm women; that it has real con­se­quences for all of us. It’s about who we are — and who we can be.

Jus­tice Gins­burg inspired the gen­er­a­tions who fol­lowed her, from the tini­est trick-or-treaters to law stu­dents burn­ing the mid­night oil to the most pow­er­ful lead­ers in the land.

Michelle and I admired her great­ly, we’re pro­found­ly thank­ful for the lega­cy she left this coun­try, and we offer our grat­i­tude and our con­do­lences to her chil­dren and grand­chil­dren tonight.

Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg fought to the end, through her can­cer, with unwa­ver­ing faith in our democ­ra­cy and its ideals.

That’s how we remem­ber her. But she also left instruc­tions for how she want­ed her lega­cy to be hon­ored.

Four and a half years ago, when Repub­li­cans refused to hold a hear­ing or an up-or-down vote on Mer­rick Gar­land, they invent­ed the prin­ci­ple that the Sen­ate shouldn’t fill an open seat on the Supreme Court before a new pres­i­dent was sworn in.

A basic prin­ci­ple of the law — and of every­day fair­ness — is that we apply rules with con­sis­ten­cy, and not based on what’s con­ve­nient or advan­ta­geous in the moment.

The rule of law, the legit­i­ma­cy of our courts, the fun­da­men­tal work­ings of our democ­ra­cy all depend on that basic prin­ci­ple.

As votes are already being cast in this elec­tion, Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors are now called to apply that stan­dard. The ques­tions before the Court now and in the com­ing years — with deci­sions that will deter­mine whether or not our econ­o­my is fair, our soci­ety is just, women are treat­ed equal­ly, our plan­et sur­vives, and our democ­ra­cy endures — are too con­se­quen­tial to future gen­er­a­tions for courts to be filled through any­thing less than an unim­peach­able process.

Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton:

We have lost one of the most extra­or­di­nary Jus­tices ever to serve on the Supreme Court. Ruth Bad­er Ginsburg’s life and land­mark opin­ions moved us clos­er to a more per­fect union.

And her pow­er­ful dis­sents remind­ed us that we walk away from our Constitution’s promise at our per­il.

Pres­i­dent Jim­my Carter:

Ros­alynn and I are sad­dened by the pass­ing of Jus­tice Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg. A pow­er­ful legal mind and a staunch advo­cate for gen­der equal­i­ty, she has been a bea­con of jus­tice dur­ing her long and remark­able career. I was proud to have appoint­ed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980. We join count­less Amer­i­cans in mourn­ing the loss of a tru­ly great woman. We will keep her fam­i­ly in our thoughts and prayers dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time.

Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden, Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­nee for Pres­i­dent:

Tonight our nation mourns an Amer­i­can hero, a giant of legal doc­trine, and a relent­less voice in the pur­suit of that high­est Amer­i­can ide­al: Equal Jus­tice Under Law.

Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg stood for all of us. She fought for all of us. As a young attor­ney, she per­sist­ed through every chal­lenge that an unequal sys­tem placed in her way to change the laws of our land and lead the legal charge to advance equal rights for women.

It was my hon­or to pre­side over her con­fir­ma­tion hear­ings, and to strong­ly sup­port her acces­sion to the Supreme Court.

In the decades since, she was con­sis­tent­ly and reli­ably the voice that pierced to the heart of every issue, pro­tect­ed the con­sti­tu­tion­al rights of every Amer­i­can, and nev­er failed in the fierce and unflinch­ing defense of lib­er­ty and free­dom.

Her opin­ions, and her dis­sents, will con­tin­ue to shape the basis of our law for future gen­er­a­tions. May her mem­o­ry be a bless­ing to all peo­ple who cher­ish our Con­sti­tu­tion and its promise.

Tonight, and in the com­ing days, we should be focused on the loss of Jus­tice Gins­burg and her endur­ing lega­cy. But just so there is no doubt, let me be clear: The vot­ers should pick a Pres­i­dent, and that Pres­i­dent should select a suc­ces­sor to Jus­tice Gins­burg.

This was the posi­tion that the Repub­li­can Sen­ate took in 2016, when there were near­ly nine months before the elec­tion.

That is the posi­tion the Unit­ed States Sen­ate must take now, when the elec­tion is less than two months away.

We are talk­ing about the Con­sti­tu­tion and the Supreme Court. That insti­tu­tion should not be sub­ject to pol­i­tics.

Sen­a­tor Kamala Har­ris, Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­nee for Vice Pres­i­dent:

Tonight we mourn, we hon­or, and we pray for Jus­tice Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg and her fam­i­ly. Tomor­row we fight for her lega­cy.

For all who believe in the pow­er of the law as a force for change, Jus­tice Gins­burg was and will always be a titan.

She was a relent­less defend­er of jus­tice in our coun­try and a legal mind for the ages. She also remained, through­out her life, a proud daugh­ter of Brook­lyn, with immi­grant roots and a fire lit from an ear­ly age as a cham­pi­on for progress and equal­i­ty.

Jus­tice Gins­burg was known to pose the ques­tion, ‘What is the dif­fer­ence between a book­keep­er in the Gar­ment Dis­trict and a Supreme Court jus­tice?” Her answer: “One gen­er­a­tion.” She nev­er for­got where she came from, or those who sac­ri­ficed to help her grow into the his­toric icon we all came to revere.

Even as we focus on the life that she led and process tonight’s grief, her lega­cy and the future of the court to which she ded­i­cat­ed so much can’t dis­ap­pear from our effort to hon­or her. In some of her final moments with her fam­i­ly, she shared her fer­vent wish to “not be replaced until a new Pres­i­dent is installed.” We will hon­or that wish.

Jus­tice Gins­burg used every ounce of life she was bestowed to urge our nation down a path toward equal jus­tice. Doug and I send our heart­felt prayers to Jane and James, and the entire Gins­burg fam­i­ly, par­tic­u­lar­ly on this holy day of Rosh Hashanah.

Accord­ing to Jew­ish tra­di­tion, on Rosh Hashanah we begin a peri­od of reflec­tion. Tonight, we reflect on the lega­cy of Jus­tice Gins­burg and we hon­or her belief in cre­at­ing a fair and just world by recom­mit­ting to fight for that jus­tice.

Speak­er of the House Nan­cy Pelosi:

The loss of Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg is dev­as­tat­ing.

Jus­tice Gins­burg embod­ied jus­tice, bril­liance and good­ness, and her pass­ing is an incal­cu­la­ble loss for our democ­ra­cy and for all who sac­ri­fice and strive to build a bet­ter future for our chil­dren.

Every fam­i­ly in Amer­i­ca ben­e­fit­ed from her bril­liant lega­cy and courage. Over the course of her quar­ter cen­tu­ry as an Asso­ciate Jus­tice of the Supreme Court, Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg became an icon, inspir­ing peo­ple around the world with her tenac­i­ty, tow­er­ing intel­lect and devo­tion to the Amer­i­can promise of equal­i­ty and oppor­tu­ni­ty for all.

Her tire­less advo­ca­cy in the fight for gen­der equal­i­ty, whether work­ing at the ACLU, argu­ing cas­es before the Supreme Court or author­ing thought­ful and his­toric opin­ions and dis­sents as an Asso­ciate Jus­tice, leaves an endur­ing lega­cy of progress for all women.  Her opin­ions have unequiv­o­cal­ly cement­ed the prece­dent that all men and women are cre­at­ed equal.

We must hon­or Jus­tice Ginsburg’s trail­blaz­ing career and safe­guard her pow­er­ful lega­cy by ensur­ing that the next Asso­ciate Jus­tice of the Supreme Court upholds her com­mit­ment to equal­i­ty, oppor­tu­ni­ty and jus­tice for all. May it be a source of com­fort to her chil­dren, Jane and James, her grand­chil­dren Paul, Clara, Miran­da and Abi­gail, and loved ones that so many peo­ple around the world mourn their loss and are pray­ing for them at this sad time.

Sen­ate Demo­c­ra­t­ic Leader Chuck Schumer:

Tonight, we mourn the pass­ing of a giant in Amer­i­can his­to­ry, a cham­pi­on for jus­tice, a trail­blaz­er for women. She would want us all to fight as hard as we can to pre­serve her lega­cy.

The Amer­i­can peo­ple should have a voice in the selec­tion of their next Supreme Court Jus­tice. There­fore, this vacan­cy should not be filled until we have a new pres­i­dent.

DNC Chair Tom Perez:

Five years ago, Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg was asked in an inter­view, ‘When the time comes, what would you like to be remem­bered for?’ She replied, ‘Some­one who used what­ev­er tal­ent she had to do her work to the very best of her abil­i­ty, and to help repair tears in her soci­ety.’ Through­out her extra­or­di­nary career, Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg did her very best to repair the tears in our soci­ety.

She was a bril­liant jurist, a fear­less cham­pi­on for jus­tice, a trail­blaz­er for count­less women and girls, and a tire­less advo­cate for the rights of those on society’s mar­gins. With a sharp mind and even sharp­er wit, Jus­tice Gins­burg changed our court and our coun­try for the bet­ter. The Supreme Court has lost a giant today, and Amer­i­ca has lost a hero. May her mem­o­ry be a bless­ing, and may her fam­i­ly find solace in the prayers of a grate­ful nation.

As we mourn this trag­ic loss, we also rec­og­nize the grav­i­ty of Jus­tice Ginsburg’s posi­tion. There is now a vacan­cy at the U.S. Supreme Court, and it should be filled with a jus­tice who embod­ies the same integri­ty, courage, and com­mit­ment to equal­i­ty that Jus­tice Gins­burg showed on the bench and through­out her life. As was Jus­tice Ginsburg’s final wish, the Amer­i­can peo­ple deserve a voice in this deci­sion. And they will make their voic­es heard in Novem­ber.

ACLU Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Antho­ny D. Romero: 

Few indi­vid­u­als have had such a dra­mat­ic and last­ing effect on a par­tic­u­lar area of law as Supreme Court Jus­tice Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg, who direct­ed the work of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project from its found­ing in 1972 until her appoint­ment to the fed­er­al bench in 1980.

Dur­ing the 1970s, Gins­burg led the ACLU in a host of impor­tant legal bat­tles, many before the Supreme Court, that estab­lished the foun­da­tion for the cur­rent legal pro­hi­bi­tions against sex dis­crim­i­na­tion in this coun­try and helped lay the ground­work for future women’s rights advo­ca­cy.

By 1974, the Women’s Rights Project and ACLU affil­i­ates had par­tic­i­pat­ed in over three hun­dred sex dis­crim­i­na­tion cas­es; between 1969 and 1980, the ACLU par­tic­i­pat­ed in six­ty-six per­cent of gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion cas­es decid­ed by the Supreme Court.

In 1981, Pres­i­dent Carter appoint­ed Gins­burg to the Unit­ed States Court of Appeals for the Dis­trict of Colum­bia Cir­cuit.

In 1993, Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg became the sec­ond woman to be a Jus­tice on the Supreme Court.

In her hon­or we will be ded­i­cat­ing the ACLU Cen­ter for Lib­er­ty as the Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg Lib­er­ty Cen­ter.

She leaves a coun­try changed because of her life’s work.

Amer­i­can Con­sti­tu­tion Soci­ety Pres­i­dent Russ Fein­gold:

Tonight we cel­e­brate the life and mourn the pass­ing of one of the most influ­en­tial and inspi­ra­tional lawyers and jurists in Amer­i­can his­to­ry. She was a giant, and we shall not see her like again.

In the com­ing weeks there will be time to dis­cuss how, by means of her tow­er­ing intel­lect and unflinch­ing courage, she blazed a path toward a bet­ter life for Amer­i­can women, and all Amer­i­cans.

But tonight I can only express my pro­found sad­ness at her pass­ing, and offer deep­est con­do­lences to her fam­i­ly and friends.

Her mem­o­ry will sure­ly be a bless­ing to the mil­lions of Amer­i­cans whose lives she touched.

Mass­a­chu­setts’ Mau­ra Healey and Ore­gon’s Ellen Rosen­blum, Co-Chairs of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Attor­neys Gen­er­al Asso­ci­a­tion:

Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg was a pio­neer, a giant. She was a role mod­el to women, lawyers, judges, and mil­lions more. Jus­tice Ginsburg’s lega­cy can­not be over­stat­ed and we will nev­er give up fight­ing for what she devot­ed her life to — equal­i­ty and jus­tice for all. The days and weeks to fol­low will be the most con­se­quen­tial in our life­times and we must work togeth­er to fol­low the path Jus­tice Gins­burg paved for us — the stakes have nev­er been this high. We must hon­or her dying dec­la­ra­tion to give her appoint­ment to the next Pres­i­dent. Tonight, we hon­or her mem­o­ry. Tomor­row, we fight for her lega­cy.

Unit­ed States Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Mur­ray:

Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg was the first Jus­tice I vot­ed for. Tonight, my heart is break­ing for a mil­lion rea­sons — for her fam­i­ly, for our coun­try, for my North Star. I’ll remem­ber her as a friend, a role mod­el, and a woman who opened doors for all the rest of us with her genius and her relent­less pur­suit of jus­tice, free­dom, and equal­i­ty for each and every one of us, no mat­ter who we are.

That fight for jus­tice, which she led so pas­sion­ate­ly for so long, is now ours to take up in her mem­o­ry. Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg gave her all to us, and I will give mine to mak­ing sure the Amer­i­can peo­ple have their next Pres­i­dent before her seat is filled.

Unit­ed States Sen­a­tor Ron Wyden of Ore­gon:

Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg was a once-in-a-gen­er­a­tion role mod­el and cham­pi­on of equal rights.

This is such an extra­or­di­nary loss for our coun­try.

Unit­ed States Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell of Wash­ing­ton:

Jus­tice Gins­burg was a giant — our longest-serv­ing female Supreme Court Jus­tice. She will be remem­bered as a fierce war­rior against gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion. Every woman who has ever had to advo­cate for the law owes her a great debt of grat­i­tude.

We have lost a real hero.

Jus­tice Gins­burg stood by the most vul­ner­a­ble in her deci­sions, from end­ing sin­gle sex admis­sion poli­cies and pro­tect­ing rights for those with men­tal dis­abil­i­ties to her dis­sents stand­ing up for vot­ing rights and paving the way for Con­gress to pass the Lil­ly Led­bet­ter Fair Pay Act, which strength­ens pro­tec­tions against pay dis­crim­i­na­tion.

My thoughts are with her fam­i­ly, friends, and every­one in our coun­try who looked up to her for inspi­ra­tion and com­fort.

Unit­ed States Sen­a­tor Jeff Merkley of Ore­gon:

I am stunned, dev­as­tat­ed, and crushed by the news of Ruth Bad­er Ginsburg’s pass­ing. This is an unfath­omable loss for our coun­try.

Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg will go down in the his­to­ry books as a hero who made a pro­found impact on gen­der equal­i­ty in our nation, both through her trail­blaz­ing legal advo­ca­cy and her tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court. She will also be remem­bered as an unwa­ver­ing cham­pi­on for jus­tice, espe­cial­ly for the rights and inter­ests of those too often for­got­ten or mar­gin­al­ized by soci­ety.

When the Court made deci­sions that pri­or­i­tized the inter­ests of the priv­i­leged and pow­er­ful at the expense of oth­ers, Jus­tice Gins­burg stood strong as the moral con­science of the Court. Her pow­er­ful words fight­ing against polit­i­cal cor­rup­tion, racial injus­tice, and attacks on women’s health and auton­o­my will con­tin­ue to rever­ber­ate through­out Amer­i­ca. I have no doubt that her work will inspire many more cham­pi­ons for jus­tice for decades to come.

Jus­tice Gins­burg her­self had expressed that it was her ‘most fer­vent wish’ not to be replaced on the Court dur­ing this pres­i­den­tial term. Since my Repub­li­can col­leagues have also been adamant that a vacant Supreme Court seat should not be filled in a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion year, I look for­ward to the Amer­i­can peo­ple mak­ing their voic­es heard before a replace­ment is select­ed.

Thank you, Jus­tice Gins­burg, for a life­time of ser­vice to build­ing a bet­ter Amer­i­ca. It is impos­si­ble to express how much we will miss you.

Unit­ed States Sen­a­tor Eliz­a­beth War­ren of Mass­a­chu­setts:

Ruthie was my friend, and I will miss her ter­ri­bly. The t‑shirts sim­ply labeled “RBG” made her noto­ri­ous. But it was her wit, her tena­cious­ness, and her skill as a jurist that made her an icon.

As a young mom head­ing off to Rut­gers law school, I saw so few exam­ples of female lawyers or law pro­fes­sors.

But Ruthie blazed the trail. I’m for­ev­er grate­ful for her exam­ple — to me, and to mil­lions of young women who saw her as a role mod­el.

Lat­er, Ruthie’s ground­break­ing work as a legal advo­cate for women led to a dis­tin­guished career as a fed­er­al judge and a Supreme Court Jus­tice. Her life­long ded­i­ca­tion to fight­ing for jus­tice for every­one, and her love for our nation, will be sore­ly missed.

With vot­ing already under­way for the 2020 elec­tions, Ruthie’s “most fer­vent wish” was for her replace­ment not to be named “until a new pres­i­dent is installed.” We must hon­or her wish.

Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee of Wash­ing­ton:

We have lost one of the great­est Amer­i­can patri­ots to ever serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg was so much more than a judge; she was one of America’s great­est cham­pi­ons for jus­tice, in the truest sense of the word.

Tru­di and I are dev­as­tat­ed.

Jus­tice Gins­burg leaves an enor­mous lega­cy of advanc­ing women’s equal­i­ty in Amer­i­can jurispru­dence and uphold­ing repro­duc­tive rights. She fought to pre­serve the Vot­ing Rights Act and enshrine equal­i­ty under the law for the LGBTQ com­mu­ni­ty on the Court.

In a career as a lit­i­ga­tor fight­ing for equal rights for women, she repeat­ed­ly over­came gen­der-based dis­crim­i­na­tion in the ser­vice of oth­ers fac­ing oppres­sion.

Jus­tice Gins­burg was a pub­lic ser­vant who kept Amer­i­ca true to its pur­pose. She nev­er shied away from vig­or­ous­ly dis­sent­ing when the Court set back the course of jus­tice.

Her career over the decades inspired count­less oth­ers to join the fight for equal­i­ty. Gen­er­a­tions of Amer­i­cans, from those who fought at her side for decades to young peo­ple inspired by her guts and bril­liance, will remem­ber her as a folk hero.

I have faith that no mat­ter what hap­pens next, Jus­tice Gins­burg’s lega­cy will have reshaped Amer­i­ca for­ev­er.

We should all raise our voic­es to make sure her last wish­es are met: Her seat should not be filled until 2021. I believe the voice of the Amer­i­can peo­ple will be heard to make sure we will hon­or the life, the career and the lega­cy of Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg.

As she once wrote, “The great­est men­ace to free­dom is an inert peo­ple; that pub­lic dis­cus­sion is a polit­i­cal duty; and that this should be a fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple of the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment.”

Gov­er­nor Kate Brown of Ore­gon:

Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg cre­at­ed a land­scape and set the legal frame­work for wom­en’s equal­i­ty in this coun­try — case by case, brick by brick. She was ahead of her time, a true pio­neer. Her sto­ry was remark­able. Through­out her career, she faced dis­crim­i­na­tion at every turn –– for being a woman, for being Jew­ish, for being a moth­er –– yet over­came it to sit on the high­est court in our coun­try.

Along the way, her work in the legal sys­tem led to land­mark struc­tur­al changes that reduced gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion and cre­at­ed more equal pro­tec­tions for all Amer­i­cans.

Her efforts have helped cre­ate a more just and fair coun­try – and ensured that even if she was the first one to make it through a cer­tain door, she wouldn’t be the last.

Through­out my life and career, in the law and in gov­ern­ment, I have walked through doors that she opened. From the time I was a young lawyer, I was inspired by her incred­i­ble intel­li­gence, her tenac­i­ty, and her unfail­ing moral com­pass that guid­ed her work toward cre­at­ing a more per­fect union, one with equal oppor­tu­ni­ties for all of us.

Fierce, per­sis­tent and filled with grit, she was our hope and our inspi­ra­tion. Jus­tice Gins­burg nev­er, ever gave up and Amer­i­ca is bet­ter for it. We can hon­or her lega­cy by con­tin­u­ing to work to dis­man­tle all forms of inequal­i­ty and dis­crim­i­na­tion, in our jus­tice sys­tem and in our lives, with every­thing we have.

Dan and I send our love to her entire fam­i­ly as they mourn the loss of an Amer­i­can icon and leg­end.

Unit­ed States Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez of New York:

We have lost a giant in the his­to­ry of our nation with the pass­ing of Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg. It is heart­break­ing that in her final moments she was, as are many oth­ers, pre­oc­cu­pied with what would hap­pen after her pass­ing. I want to make one thing clear: we can, and must, fight. Now is not the time for cyn­i­cism or hope­less­ness.

There is and con­tin­ues to be polit­i­cal pos­si­bil­i­ty to pre­serve our democ­ra­cy and move for­ward.

It will require each & every one of us, from the streets to the Sen­ate, to grow in courage, strength, and strat­e­gy. But it is pos­si­ble.

Unit­ed States Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Prami­la Jaya­pal of Wash­ing­ton:

Tonight, our nation not only lost a his­toric mem­ber of the high­est court in our land but a trail­blaz­er for women every­where. From her pas­sion­ate advo­ca­cy work on behalf of women to her near­ly three decades on the Supreme Court, Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg served with grace and bril­liance while fight­ing for equal­i­ty and jus­tice.

As the Direc­tor of the Amer­i­can Civ­il Lib­er­ties Union’s Women’s Rights Project, Jus­tice Gins­burg put her strength and unpar­al­leled legal knowl­edge to work each day as an orga­niz­er who helped lay the foun­da­tion for land­mark con­sti­tu­tion­al pro­tec­tions against sex dis­crim­i­na­tion.

Fol­low­ing her con­fir­ma­tion to the bench in 1993, she brought her fierce intel­lect, deter­mi­na­tion for jus­tice, and quick-wit with her as she became only the sec­ond woman to ever serve on the Supreme Court.

As some looked out for cor­po­ra­tions and the pow­er­ful, she lift­ed up fam­i­lies and the most vul­ner­a­ble. With every case she delib­er­at­ed on, she was guid­ed by the promise of the very words carved above the Supreme Court: equal jus­tice under law.

Her tire­less work on the court pro­tect­ed and expand­ed women’s rights, repro­duc­tive rights, vot­ing rights, civ­il rights, and work­ers’ rights. She helped make pos­si­ble his­toric progress on LGBTQ+ equal­i­ty, health care, immi­gra­tion, the envi­ron­ment, and get­ting mon­ey out of pol­i­tics. And she did all of this while nev­er los­ing sight of what makes our nation great — our inclu­siv­i­ty, our sense of jus­tice, our com­mit­ment to equal­i­ty and oppor­tu­ni­ty for all.

In hon­or of Jus­tice Ginsburg’s inspir­ing life, her pow­er­ful lega­cy, and her nev­er end­ing pur­suit for jus­tice, let us con­tin­ue her work. I am com­mit­ted to con­tin­u­ing the crit­i­cal work nec­es­sary to make our coun­try more equal, more fair, and more just.

As one of only sev­en­ty-nine women of col­or to have ever served in the Unit­ed States Con­gress, I am ful­ly com­mit­ted to con­tin­u­ing the lega­cy of this beloved “shero”: from final­ly rat­i­fy­ing the Equal Rights Amend­ment to pro­tect­ing abor­tion rights, work­ers’ rights, LGTBQ+ rights, and civ­il rights for all.

And I am com­mit­ted to mak­ing sure women across the coun­try and through­out the world can blaze their own trails, that they are nev­er held back on the basis of sex — or any iden­ti­ty.  May Jus­tice Ruth Bad­er Ginsburg’s mem­o­ry be a bless­ing. And may she rest in pow­er.

Unit­ed States Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Adam Smith of Wash­ing­ton:

Supreme Court Jus­tice Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg was an exem­plary bea­con of jus­tice. Her life­long work to expand the rights of all Amer­i­cans has enshrined her mark on the his­to­ry of our coun­try and will serve as an inspi­ra­tion for gen­er­a­tions to come. Her lead­er­ship and hon­or­able ser­vice have shaped count­less lives for the bet­ter, and we are a stronger, more just nation due to her jurispru­dence.

No words can accu­rate­ly por­tray the mon­u­men­tal impact she had on our jus­tice sys­tem or describe her pro­found ded­i­ca­tion to our nation even until her very last moments with us. We mourn the loss of her today, but we con­tin­ue our fight for jus­tice tomor­row. I extend my deep­est con­do­lences to her and her fam­i­ly and my sin­cer­est grat­i­tude to Jus­tice Gins­berg – may she Rest in Peace.

Unit­ed States Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Den­ny Heck of Wash­ing­ton:

Jus­tice Ruth Bad­er Gins­berg was one of the sharpest legal minds and fiercest defend­ers of jus­tice this nation has ever known.

Her lead­er­ship on the court—and at the moral cen­ter of our democracy—cannot and will not be eas­i­ly replaced. Jus­tice Ginsberg’s stir­ring legal opin­ions helped advance the rights of women and count­less under­rep­re­sent­ed Amer­i­cans. And when the Court strayed from the tenets of due process and equal pro­tec­tion under the law, her fiery dis­sents sound­ed the alarm in the soul of our nation.

Jus­tice Ginsberg’s life sto­ry is one of grit and deter­mi­na­tion.

She strong-armed her way into the upper ech­e­lons of legal acad­e­mia, and then opened the door from the inside, so that future gen­er­a­tions of women could fol­low in her foot­steps.

Tonight, I share in the solemn, heavy grief of our nation. But I also share in our grat­i­tude to a vision­ary who bold­ly assert­ed that our laws pro­tect us all, regard­less of gen­der, race, sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion, or any oth­er cat­e­go­ry that could be used to divide us. Jus­tice Gins­burg was a voice for the voice­less. It’s up to us to pro­tect her lega­cy — and con­tin­ue her fight on behalf of the most vul­ner­a­ble among us.

King Coun­ty Exec­u­tive Dow Con­stan­tine:

For near­ly three decades, Amer­i­ca ben­e­fit­ted from the wis­dom and moral guid­ance of a woman whose life of ser­vice was ded­i­cat­ed to mak­ing real a cen­tral ide­al our nation: jus­tice.

Ruth Bad­er Ginsburg’s era on the Supreme Court was itself his­toric, and her deci­sions — and of course, her dis­sents – helped affirm the equal rights of women and, indeed, of every Amer­i­can.

Her ded­i­ca­tion to fight­ing for the rights of all did not begin with her appoint­ment to the high court, nor will her impact on our shared his­to­ry end with her pass­ing today. Her ser­vice, her ded­i­ca­tion to the law, and her life sto­ry is quin­tes­sen­tial­ly Amer­i­can.

It would be the height of hypocrisy — and an immense dis­ser­vice to the court, the law, and our democ­ra­cy — to ignore her final wish­es and allow this moral­ly bank­rupt Pres­i­dent and Sen­ate major­i­ty to rush through a replace­ment for this irre­place­able patri­ot before the vot­ers chart our nation’s course just six weeks from now.

Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty Chair Tina Pod­lodows­ki:

We lost a leg­end tonight. Jus­tice Gins­burg will go down in Amer­i­can his­to­ry as one of the fiercest advo­cates for civ­il rights and equal­i­ty under the law that we’ve ever been blessed to serve us in pub­lic life.

Tonight, we send our love and our sym­pa­thy to Jus­tice Gins­burg’s fam­i­ly, and we grieve with them as we mourn her loss.

But tomor­row, the work of fight­ing to pro­tect the rights Jus­tice Gins­burg enshrined in deci­sions issued from the high­est court in the land must con­tin­ue. The secu­ri­ty of so many Amer­i­cans’ repro­duc­tive rights, right to mar­ry whomev­er they love, and the fun­da­men­tal right to be treat­ed as equals in our soci­ety should nev­er have rest­ed on the shoul­ders of a five foot tall, eighty-sev­en year old giant of Amer­i­can jurispru­dence. We must recom­mit our­selves to ensur­ing Amer­i­ca lives up to the vision of a just soci­ety Jus­tice Gins­burg brought to life in both the deci­sions she authored and the exam­ple she set for women every­where. May she rest in peace.

Thank you, Jus­tice Gins­burg. We hon­or you, we cel­e­brate you, and we car­ry on remem­ber­ing what you taught us. Your wis­dom is time­less.

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One Comment

  1. Great trib­ute to this inspi­ra­tional leader.

    # by Mike Barer :: September 19th, 2020 at 11:09 PM