WOMEN

23 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes That Will Make You Love Her Even More

All rise.

On August 10, 1993, national treasure and women’s-rights-champion-for-the-ages Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice. In that time, she has fired off many a delicious zinger ― and many important thoughts about life and the law ― both from the bench, and beyond.

In honor of her 23rd anniversary, here are 23 quotes that celebrate Justice Ginsburg’s gift for real talk. Never change, Notorious RBG, and never leave us. Please.

On reproductive justice:

1.

From the Senate hearing on her Supreme Court nomination 

2. “It is beyond rational belief that H. B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law ‘would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions.’ When a state severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners ... at great risk to their health and safety.”

From Ginsburg’s concurring opinion in the 2016 decision on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

3. “The notion that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act furthers any legitimate governmental interest is, quite simply, irrational ... the Court’s defense of it, cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court—and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women’s lives.”

From Ginsburg’s dissent in the 2007 Gonzales v. Carhart decision to uphold a law banning “partial-birth” abortions

4. “The side that wants to take the choice away from women and give it to the state, they’re fighting a losing battle. Time is on the side of change.”

From an interview with The New York Times

On discrimination and equality:

5.

 From an interview with Makers

6. “We should not be held back from pursuing our full talents, from contributing what we could contribute to the society, because we fit into a certain mold ― because we belong to a group that historically has been the object of discrimination.”

From an interview with journalist Lynn Sherr

7. “Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.”

 ― From an interview with journalist Lynn Sherr

8. “I think unconscious bias is one of the hardest things to get at. My favorite example is the symphony orchestra. When I was growing up, there were no women in orchestras. Auditioners thought they could tell the difference between a woman playing and a man. Some intelligent person devised a simple solution: Drop a curtain between the auditioners and the people trying out. And, lo and behold, women began to get jobs in symphony orchestras.”

 From an interview with Elle  

9. “Just as buildings in California have a greater need to be earthquake proofed, places where there is greater racial polarization in voting have a greater need for prophylactic measures to prevent purposeful race discrimination.”

From her dissent to the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to strike down key parts of the Voting Rights Act

10.

11. “Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

From her 2013 dissent to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down key parts of the Voting Rights Act

12. “All of the incentives, all of the benefits of marriage affords would still be available. So you’re not taking away anything from heterosexual couples. They would have the very same incentive to marry, all the benefits that come with marriage that they do now.”

From oral arguments on Obergefell v. Hodges, in which SCOTUS eventually recognized same-sex couples’ right to marry

On disagreeing with SCOTUS decisions:

13.   

14. “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.”

From a New Republic interview, speaking about SCOTUS’ decision in the so-called “Hobby Lobby” case

 15. “I think our system is being polluted by money.” 

From a conversation with law students at Georgetown University, voicing her opposition to the Court’s Citizens United decision

On life:

16.

17. “Every now and then it helps to be a little deaf...That advice has stood me in good stead. Not simply in dealing with my marriage, but in dealing with my colleagues.”

From an interview with Makers

18. “If I had any talent in the world ... I would be a great diva.”

From a 2015 conversation with law students at Georgetown University

19. “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.”

20. I just read Anne-Marie Slaughter’s book. She talked about “we don’t have it all.” Who does? I’ve had it all in the course of my life, but at different times. 

From a conversation with Gloria Steinem, in The New York Times

21. “Well, my grandchildren love it, and I try to keep abreast of what’s on the Tumblr.”

On falling asleep during the State of The Union:

22.

And on Donald Trump:

23.

 ― From a 2016 interview with CNN, though Justice Ginsburg later apologized for the truth bomb remark

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