Message From Dean Anderson About Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)

September 18, 2020

Dear Haub Law Community,

Tonight we add our voices to the outpouring of sorrow over the loss of U.S. Supr​eme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second female justice on the high court and an unwavering defender of equal rights.

Justice Ginsburg was extremely courageous in her long career, as well as in her various battles with cancer, up until the very end. We echo the words of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who said of Justice Ginsburg: “Our nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her — a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”

President Bill Clinton, who nominated Ginsburg to the high court in 1993, described her as the Thurgood Marshall of women’s rights. Recently, Justice Ginsburg also had earned the nick name “Notorious RBG” for her comments during public appearances and for strong dissents criticizing decisions she believed were insufficiently protective of equal rights and civil liberties.

Early in her career, she forged a path to equality for women as a litigator in defense of civil liberties. Ginsburg became the first director of the ACLU’s women’s rights project in the early 1970s. She argued six cases before the Supreme Court and filed many amicus briefs there, advancing the development of the law on gender discrimination to the benefit of men and women.

Ginsburg will perhaps be remembered most for her writings on women’s rights, including her opinion in United States v. Virginia in 1996, which said the state-run Virginia Military Institute’s all-male admissions policy was unconstitutional, and her 2007 dissent in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber, a dispute over gender pay disparity. In 2013, she became the first justice to preside over a same-sex marriage.

Justice Ginsburg embodied all we could hope for as a role model and a beacon of social justice. She will be sorely missed and impossible to replace. 

Dean Horace Anderson

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