Remembering Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020
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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The following is a statement from Massachusetts Bar Association President Denise I. Murphy on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who died on Friday, Sept. 18.

"I, and my fellow officers, join MBA members everywhere in mourning the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom we lost after her courageous battle with cancer. To say hers was a life well lived doesn’t even begin to describe the enormous impact that Justice Ginsburg had on civil rights and equal protection in the United States, especially for gender equality.

Famously, as one of only a handful of women in her first-year Harvard Law School class, she rose to the top and earned an appointment to the prestigious Harvard Law Review – and then repeated those accomplishments in her final year of law school after transferring to another Ivy League institution, Columbia Law School. It was the beginning of a trailblazing career where, at every step along the way, Justice Ginsburg pushed back against antiquated notions of women’s roles in society and inspired countless women to follow her into the legal profession.

She moved mountains with her words, both as an advocate and as a U.S. Supreme Court justice, chipping away at barriers to equality for not only women, but also others, including the LGBTQ community. Even when writing in dissent, her words often had the power to move and persuade others to take action. It is all emblematic of her never-say-quit character, which defined her approach to her legal battles as well as her personal health challenges.

It is not an exaggeration to say that, as a country, we are a little closer to the ideal of 'justice for all' because of Justice Ginsburg and her courage to confront institutional wrongs under the law. As long as barriers to justice remain, however, there will still be work to do, and that now falls on us.

With her legacy, Justice Ginsburg provides us with a roadmap to confront the remaining barriers to equality. As members of the Massachusetts Bar Association, we must channel her courage, tenacity and compassion as we continue to work toward true equal justice for all under the law."