The loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday has been both a personal and a public loss. She was a hero to all who seek equity and justice for all people – no matter our gender or race or religion. As an attorney and then as a judge, Justice Ginsburg fought, in exquisite legal prose, for our country to live up to its promise to respect the equality of all people, everyone. She was also a wonderful realist about the time and commitment the work of justice requires: Martin Luther King Jr. said: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” Ginsburg added but only “if there is a steadfast commitment to see the task through to completion.”
We are grateful for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s steadfast commitment to see the task of justice through to completion. Her tenacity and resilience in court, as an attorney and as a judge, standing up for the rights of women, inspires us to do the same for the poor Black and Brown families we represent and advocate for. Here are some reflections on Justice Ginsburg and her legacy from our Board of Directors:
“I think it is worth noting that her legacy illustrates that we as individuals can make a difference in the lives of others and it is important that we all do what we can to make the world better than it was yesterday.”
– Claire James, Board member
“One of my prized possessions is a note from Justice Ginsburg after I had provided some legal information to one of her marshalls. She thanked me for my assistance and all I could think of is that she shouldn’t be spending her time writing to me! Yet she did and I cherish the gesture and the note. She is a hero to so many of us and we will miss her unflinching resolve to do right. May her memory be a blessing and also help us to continue fighting for equality and justice.”
– Jane Spinak, Board member
From an interview with the Hon. Elaine Bucklo, originally published Winter 2011 in the Litigation Journal:
Elaine B: Do you have any message that you would give to young people today facing unfair discrimination in any form from your own experience?
RBG: Well, one thing you don’t do is go off in a corner and cry. Instead, your attitude should be “I will somehow surmount this, I will find a way to do what I want to do.”
– Margaret Dale, Board Chair
“In 1974, when I began my legal career at Columbia Law School, RBG was the first tenured woman professor at the law school and had already blazed a trail in the path towards combatting gender discrimination. In 1976, I began work as a summer associate at Weil Gotshal & Manges, and met Ruth’s husband, Marty, who was one of the leaders of the firm. His stories about the brilliance, tenacity and humanity of his spouse were both inspirational and heartwarming to a young lawyer, including her devotion not just to the law, but to family. Throughout my professional career, I have been in awe of what she has stood for, what she has struggled to overcome and the wisdom of her approach — one step at a time. My mentor, Ira Millstein, shepherded Ruth’s Senate confirmation for the court of appeals, and then for the Supreme Court, while I cheered in the background. Throughout the years, as she became an icon to the young — the Notorious RBG — I knew that she did this not because she sought notoriety (quite the opposite), but to connect with and inspire the next generations. And she succeeded — my oldest grandchildren of 5 1/2 and 8 1/2 know all about RBG, and during the past two years, as I have fought for equal pay for the Women’s National Team in soccer, they have rightly pointed to her as an example that I should try my best to follow. The mission of CFR is core to the issues about which Justice Ginsburg cared deeply – equality, family, and justice. And I am proud to be a CFR Board Member in support of these principles. It is up to each of us to carry on her legacy and keep moving forward in this struggle for equality – especially in the world we face today. And we will.”
– Jeff Kessler, Board member
Thank you for all you do to help us complete justice for our clients.