UNAC/UHCP President Denise Duncan, RN, made the following statement on the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
“In Jewish tradition, people who die on the eve of Rosh Hashanah are considered “of great righteousness” because it is understood they were kept on Earth until the very last day of the year to maximize their impact on our world. Some even believe they have superhuman abilities. To apply these descriptors to the longest serving Jewish justice on the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, seems apt.
“While Justice Ginsburg was physically small, her might made her a feminist and legal icon. Her legacy is profound. She was a towering champion for gender equality.
“Justice Ginsburg grew up in Brooklyn, and lost her mother the day before she graduated from high school. She attended Cornell University where she met her husband, Marty, who she said won her over because he cared that she had a brain. She graduated at the top of her law school class—but no firm would hire a female lawyer. Justice Ginsburg later reflected that starting her career at a time when women could legally be treated differently than men not only shaped her life’s work, but made it possible for her to end up on the Supreme Court.
“Her choices narrow, Justice Ginsburg went on to teach and later founded the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU, where she became a leader in the legal fight for gender equity, successfully arguing several landmark cases before the Supreme Court that featured men who were hurt by laws that were unfair to women. She knew men would be deciding the case, so she shrewdly found a way to make her case in a way that would resonate.
“In 1993, Justice Ginsburg was nominated to the highest court in the land by President Bill Clinton. She was vocal in her dissents, saving her most passionate words for cases that impacted women’s rights. By her third decade on the bench, she became a cultural touchstone, enjoying fame as the “Notorious R.B.G.”, and going viral with her daily workout regimen as an octogenarian.
“May Justice Ginsburg’s impact live on for centuries to come, and may we continue her fight for everything she held dearest.”